UK CoV-2 Update

UK CoV-2 Update

Figure 1 shows the troughs and peaks dates with weekly respiratory deaths.

Noticeable is trough dates are around the end of August/beginning of September. About 3 weeks before the Autumnal equinox. Peak dates are within the first 2 weeks of January about 3 weeks after the winter solstice.

A definitive seasonal pattern.

Airborne Viral UK deaths In perspective

(Based on today's population)

Spanish Flu 1918/19 228,000 (387,600)

Asian Flu 1956/57 26,400 ( 34,600)

Hong Kong Flu 1968/69 & 1969/70 36,900 ( 44,700)

Respiratory deaths
05Sep14-30Jan15 2014/15 34,000

2019/20 Season 2020/21 30,652

CoV-2 Mar/Sep2020 2020 40,666

2020/21 Sep20/Jan2021 2020/21 22,980 (as at 08Jan2021)
Respiratory/CoV-2 Sep20/Jan2021 52,201 (as at 08Jan2021)

Data from
Historic UK

The Lancet


During summer when the temperature rises we often hear about heatwave deaths in the media.

These two plots show all causes of deaths Summer vs Temperature (Max) and Winter vs Temperature (Max)

Make your own mind up!

Average weekly deaths 2010-2019 10,032
Average weekly Summer deaths
2010-2019 9,502
Average weekly Winter deaths
2010-2019 10,627

Which equates to 58,500 more deaths per year in winter than summer.

Does weather affect airborne virus epidemics. I have read some papers which argue against a weather "effect" and say no. The peak and trough information on the last 11 years in the UK certainly indicates a seasonal trend.

Because the Mar/Apr2020 CoV-2 epidemic was out of season I looked at the weekly all causes of death and respiratory deaths from 2010 to 2019.

When you see the correlations on the plots below, there is something to think about.

The death rate data from ONS is weekly for England & Wales and therefore the temperature and sunshine data comparisons have to be average weekly. This will weaken the correlation. Also without a lot of extra work the weather data is average UK, not just England and Wales. Once again this will weaken the correlations.

There is a large difference between recording infection rates and death rates for viruses.

Infection rate depend somewhat on the number of tests, and record many false positives, but do not provide information on the potency of any particular virus strain.

Death rates provide how potent the virus is, which is a far better measure for forward planning.

Image one shows infection rates and image two death rates, provided CoV-2

What these two images show is infection rates have increased considerably compared to the non-seasonal first outbreak.

This non-seasonal outbreak had a large number of deaths. With larger infection rates but fewer deaths with this seasonal outbreak.

Based on seasonal viruses over the last 11 years and the ratio between all causes of deaths to respiratory death (20% at peak), this chart provides a forecast up until the 26March2021.With a 30% peak ratio, similar to the peak of the Mar/Apr non-seasonal out break

The 2020/2021 seasonal virus (CoV-2 and variants) forecast is higher than than the 2015 influenza virus peaking at 7,340 deaths week ending 22ndJan2021. All causes deaths is the highest seasonal outbreak in the last 11 years, but short of the non-seasonal outbreak.

Latest data to 08Jan2021 indicates a peak for England & Wales 7-days on the 22Jan2021 of 7,340. Sunshine (UV radiation, and temperatures have been very low and Relative Humidity very high, perfect conditions for airborne viruses to spread with high potency.

As of 08Jan2021 ONS data has this comment "Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our regular weekly deaths release now provides a separate breakdown of the numbers of deaths involving COVID-19. That is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions. Previously, the number of deaths with an underlying cause of respiratory disease was published a week behind the current week. These will now be published for the current week and revised the following week. Alongside this, a new bulletin summarises the latest weekly information and will be updated each week during the pandemic"

These data are becoming spurious, All Causes of death data for week ending 01Jan2021 fell 1,451 from w/e 25Dec2020 but CoV-2 deaths increased by 202.

Latest all causes deaths data for w/e 08Jan2021 showed an increase 7,682 from 01Jan2021, despite 6,057 CoV-2 deaths and 7,025 respiratory deaths. These respiratory deaths rose from 678 w/e 01Jan2021.

7,025 respiratory deaths are the highest weekly deaths in the 11 year history, the previous being 3,521 on 09Jan2015.

The image will be updated when the latest ONS figures are released every week.

Regular update comparing SARS C0V-2 with Sunshine (UV radiation), Relative Humidity and maximum Temperature - UK

7-Day C0V-2 deaths count-backs from;

23Dec2020 3,531 (3,143)
24Dec2020 3,573 (3,180)
25Dec2020 3,654 (3,252)

31Dec2020 3,812 (3,396)
01Jan2021 3,855 (3,431)
02Jan2021 4,090 (3,640)
03Jan2021 4,228 (3,763)
04Jan2021 4,278 (3,807)
05Jan2021 4,695 (4,179)
06Jan2021 4,755 (4,232)
07Jan2021 4,956 (4,411)
08Jan2021 5,668 (5,045)
09Jan2021 6,258 (5,570)
10Jan2021 6,367 (5,667)
11Jan2021 6,489 (5,775)
12Jan2021 6,910 (6,142)
13Jan2021 7,472 (6,610)
14Jan2021 7,507 (6,681)
15Jan2021 7,462 (6641)
16Jan2021 7,722 (6873)
17Jan2021 7,830 (6969)
18Jan2021 7,900 (7031)
19Jan2021 8,267 (7358)
20Jan2021 8,523 (7585)
21Jan2021 8,565 (7623)
22Jan2021 8,686 (7731)
23Jan2021 8,739 (7778)

Bold above 2015 peak of 3,521

Bearing in mind Worldometers daily CoV-2 data use the whole of the UK and weekly data form ONS is for England & Wales only. The above data would be 11% lower to be representative of England & Wales ONS weekly figures.

ONS data update for 08Jan2021 has changed it's format and also changed a lot of historical data!!!

I suggest the high figures from the 07-08Jan2021 (over 1,000 per day) are as a result of lifted restrictions on Christmas Day, given a 2 week incubation period.

The weather conditions during January 2021 have been perfect for increased airborne viral spread and increased potency, cold, high humidity and most importantly lack of sunshine.

CoV-2 daily data from CoronaVirus

Daily UK average weather data from Weather Research.

In the image opposite is displayed total deaths, peak dates, respiratory deaths, peak dates, percentages of respiratory deaths vs total deaths and peak percentages for years 2010-2020.

On the bottom two rows using the same format for CoV-2, the first non-seasonal outbreak (Mar/Apr2020). Based on data as at 17Jan2021, a forecast (red) of peak deaths, total, CoV-2 dates and percentages for season 2020/21.

A problem with 7 day data from ONS is the weekend reporting is significantly lower and the following Monday and Tuesdays the numbers are significantly higher. Hence the large "ups" and "downs" seen in other charts.

On the image opposite we see, on a daily basis applying a 7 days count-back to portray a better progression of the 2020 non-seasonal and 2020/19 seasonal epidemics.

All previous seasonal viral epidemics over the last 11 years have had strong correlation between Temperature (max), Relative Humidity and Sunshine.

During the non-seasonal period correlations were Tmax =0.18, RH -0.41 and sunshine 0.35 (positive). During this seasonal epidemic correlations were Tmax -0.74, RH -0.57 and sunshine -0.53, showing strong seasonality.

The large increase in deaths during Jan2021 appears to be as a consequence of the relaxation on Christmas Day and the subsequent incubation period. Plus temperatures and sunshine has been very low and Relative Humidity high.

As a seasonal viral epidemic, there should be a peak and reduction over the next week, following the trends of other seasonal epidemics.