Study: 7 in 10 people in England have had COVID-19

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Study: 7 in 10 people in England have had COVID-19

The number of COVID-19-infected people between April 2020 and February 2022 amounts to 70.7% of England’s population, the Office for National Statistics’ researchers found. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

More than seven out of 10 people living in England — 38.5 million people — have caught COVID-19 since the pandemic’s onset, Britain’s Office for National Statistics revealed Friday.

The study examined coronavirus cases that occurred in England between April 27, 2020, and Feb. 11, 2022.

The number of infected people amounts to 70.7% of the country’s population, researchers found.

“Today’s release is a valuable piece of the puzzle for understanding the impact of the pandemic across the U.K.,” the study’s deputy director, Duncan Cook said, according to The Guardian.

“It’s encouraging to see that infections have decreased in all age groups across England. Despite the decrease in infections, it’s important to note that levels remain high,” he said. “We continue to monitor these going forward.”

One in 14, or 3.7 million people in England, have COVID-19 currently, The National reported.

The study, which sampled 535,116 people, also examined COVID-19 cases that emerged in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

In Northern Ireland, about 1.3 million people caught the virus between July 27, 2020, and Feb.11, 2022 — about 72.2% of the country’s population.

COVID-19 infections in Wales between June 30, 2020, and Feb. 11, 2022 amounted to 56% of the population, or 1.7 million people.

Infections between Sept. 22, 2020, and Feb. 11, 2022 reached 2.7 million, or 51.5%, of Scotland’s population.

The study’s participants were regularly tested during the study, and had one or more nose and throat swabs to test for the virus, which has infected more than 505 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization.

Over 6.2 million people have died from COVID-19 infections, the WHO reported.

The study took into account both negative and positive test results.

Researchers first needed to define what counted as a new infection episode, they note in the study, to tell the difference between subsequent infections in the same person and to figure out how long a person would test positive.

They defined a new episode of infection as “a new positive test which occurs 120 days or more after an individual’s first positive test in the survey and their most recent prior test result was negative.”

Also, If 120 days had not passed since the participant’s first positive test in the study, a new infection episode was logged if their last positive test was followed by four consecutive negative tests.

The Office for National Statistics infection survey tests and retests the same large sample of people monthly, regardless of whether they are symptomatic.

It’s considered the most reliable way of measuring COVID-19’s prevalence, according to The National.

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