Changes to the way we report on COVID-19 deaths
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
1w ago
We are changing the way we present COVID-19 death statistics on the GOV.UK COVID-19 Dashboard. “Deaths with COVID-19 on the death registration” will replace “deaths within 28 days of a positive test” as the primary reported COVID-19 death statistic.  This blog explains why we are making changes to how we present data on COVID-19 deaths.  How do we count COVID-19 deaths? We have counted deaths following COVID-19 infection since the start of the pandemic. Monitoring how many people die following infection with a recently emerged virus tells us how severe it is. It can also help us und ..read more
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COVID-19 testing for people arriving from China
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
3w ago
A sample of passengers travelling from China into London’s Heathrow Airport will be invited to take a PCR test for COVID-19 on arrival. These tests will help us to better understand any variants that may be present in any positive cases. Why are we only testing arrivals from China? China is currently experiencing its largest and most serious COVID-19 wave since the start of the pandemic. This coincides with China easing some of the border measures it had put in place during the pandemic, which had included limits on the numbers of passengers permitted on international flights. There are far f ..read more
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Back to school - 5 things to do to help manage winter illness
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
1M ago
As students start to return to school, it’s important to be aware of the winter illnesses currently circulating and the best ways to protect your child and others. In this blog, we set out some of the  simple actions that parents of school age children can take to help protect their families and those around them. What’s the current situation? We are seeing high levels of flu and COVID-19, which is likely to continue in coming weeks. We are also still seeing high numbers of scarlet fever, which is caused by the bacteria Group A streptococcus. You can read more information about strep A h ..read more
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Group A Strep - What you need to know
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
2M ago
Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a common bacteria. Lots of us carry it in our throats and on our skin and it doesn’t always result in illness. However, GAS does cause a number of infections, some mild and some more serious. The most serious infections linked to GAS come from invasive group A strep, known as iGAS. These infections are caused by the bacteria getting into parts of the body where it is not normally found, such as the lungs or bloodstream. In rare cases an iGAS infection can be fatal. Whilst iGAS infections are still uncommon, there has been an increase in cases this year, particula ..read more
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World AIDS Day: get tested, get treated
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
2M ago
World AIDS Day (1 December) provides an opportunity to remember those who have died from an AIDS-related illness and show support for those living with HIV. The latest data in England The latest data shows that whilst new HIV diagnoses in England fell by nearly a third between 2019 and 2021 and transmission of the virus continued to decline among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM), the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed progress towards HIV elimination – especially in heterosexual adults. In 2021, there were an estimated 4,400 people unaware of their HIV infection, which is a ..read more
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Changes to the COVID-19 dashboard and COVID-19 vaccination surveillance report
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
2M ago
The COVID-19 pandemic led to enormous public interest in statistics, with sudden and urgent need to track the virus almost in real time. Whilst this was a big challenge for our statisticians, it led to real innovation in the way we manage and present data and statistics.   UKHSA’s COVID-19 dashboard has been a huge success in presenting daily updates on the latest situation in relation to infections and vaccinations, and it continues to be a crucial resource.  Why do we need to make changes? Our job as statisticians is to provide the most useful and relevant information for the ..read more
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ESPAUR report 2022 - the latest findings on Antimicrobial Resistance
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
2M ago
Antimicrobial drugs are commonly used. We have all heard of antibiotics, which fight bacteria, but there are also antifungals, antivirals and antiparasitics that fight fungi, viruses and parasites, respectively. The more we use these drugs, the less effective they become and this problem is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It means that microbes have developed resistance to our commonly used medications, meaning these medicines do not always work to treat infections. The national annual report ESPAUR (English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance) ou ..read more
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Raising awareness about AMR: toolkits for healthcare professionals
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
2M ago
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) demands action and education by professionals and the public alike. This blog collates resources and materials for raising awareness that have been developed by UKHSA, Health Education England and partners. Antimicrobial Stewardship in Primary Care: Treat Antibiotics Responsibly, Guidance, Education, Tools – the TARGET toolkit The TARGET Antibiotics Toolkit produced by UKHSA in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) includes a range of resources that can be used to support prescribers and patients with responsible antibiot ..read more
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Norovirus: What to do if you catch it and helping to stop the spread
Public health matters
by laurajupp
2M ago
Norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, is a stomach bug that causes sickness and diarrhoea. Following lower levels than normal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have started to see an increase in norovirus activity as we head into the winter period. Norovirus is able to spread easily through communities and so outbreaks are common in settings where individuals have close contact such as hospitals, care homes, schools and nurseries. For most people this is an unpleasant, short-lived illness and they make a full recovery within 2-3 days without needing any medicine. Howeve ..read more
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An update on avian flu
Public health matters
by Blog Editor
2M ago
The current situation A record number of cases of avian influenza virus infections, or ‘bird flu’ , were confirmed across England, Scotland, and Wales in wild and captive birds last winter (2021/22). Normally, detections of bird flu decrease during the spring and summer months, however,  the epidemic has continued, particularly in ducks, geese or other large swimming birds and sea birds. As we head into winter 2022-3, there have been further increases in detections recently, both in wild and captive bird flocks, leading the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) &n ..read more
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