Over QUARTER of UK population could have had Covid-19 already, doctor tells RT
More than 25 percent of the UK population may already have had the Covid-19 virus, with many experiencing only a “mild dose” of the illness, Dr Adrian Heald, who conducted new research at the University of Manchester, has told RT.
The research, published this week in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, used local authority data to predict the cumulative spread of the virus since the beginning of the outbreak.
“What we’re saying in this study is that far more people than was thought may actually have had some exposure to the virus,” Heald said.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) May 15, 2020
The researchers calculated the R rate (by which contagion reproduction is measured) within each local authority area going back to the second half of April. From there, looking at variations across areas with more or fewer cases, they extrapolated that one in four people, or 25 percent, could already have had the infection. However, Heald cautioned that this is “not an absolute number.” Rather, he said, it is a “projection, an estimate that was based on the data that was available at the time.”
We certainly feel as physicians… that many people have had what we call a mild dose of this virus and may not have noticed that they had it.
Asked if authorities should begin lifting restrictions in areas where people are less likely to get affected, Heald said it was a “difficult” question to answer because, while “in theory it’s a great idea,” in practice it may be harder to police.
“The notion that I, sitting in Manchester, would have a different level of restriction to someone living in central London is maybe good in theory, but actually making that work in practice is very hard,” he said.
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