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While cases remain highest in the north of England, a dramatic increase in infections has been recorded across all areas, according to the latest interim finding’s from the React-1 study from Imperial College London. The results triggered warnings from scientists that current measures, including bans on households mixing and bars and pubs closed, are not working, and that urgent action is needed to avoid a sharp rise in hospital admissions and deaths.
The React-1 study found that infections are still highest among 18-24-year-olds (2.2 percent), but are spreading into older and more vulnerable age groups.
The percentage of people infected aged 55-64 increased more than three times from 0.37 percent to 1.2 percent.
In the south-west, which had low prevalence in infections, there I now a rise in infections among 18-24-year-olds.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the program, said: “We’re seeing a pattern in the south which is similar to what we saw in the north a few weeks back.”
The R number is the average number of secondary infections produced by a single infected person.
An R number of one means, on average, every person who is infected will infect one other person, meaning the total number of infections is stable.
If the R is two, on average, each infected person will transmit the virus to two more people.
When the R rate is 0.5, then every two infected people will only create one new infection.
If the R is more than one, that means the epidemic is growing, while if it’s less than one, the disease is shrinking.
The higher the R rate is above one, the more people one infected person will transmit to and so the quicker the pandemic grows.
The R rate can change over time, however, and is not a figure set in stone.
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Once again, if the growth rate is more than 0, then the epidemic is growing, while if it’s less than zero, it’s shrinking.
The size of the growth rate indicates the speed of change, and a growth rate of five percent indicates the epidemic is growing faster than a growth rate of one percent.
According to the Government website, with statistics last updated today, the R rate in the UK is currently between 1.1 and 1.3.
An R rate between 1.1 and 1.3 means on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 people.
That means the number of new infections in the UK is growing by two and four percent every day.
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World news – GB – R rate UK: What is the R rate in the UK?