Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AbstractBackgroundEngland, UK has experienced a large outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 infection. As in USA and elsewhere, disadvantaged communities have been disproportionately affected.MethodsNational REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) prevalence study using a self-administered lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) test for IgG among a random population sample of 100,000 adults over 18 years in England, 20 June to 13 July 2020.ResultsData were available for 109,076 participants, yielding 5,544 IgG positive results; adjusted (for test performance) and re-weighted (for sampling) prevalence was 6.0% (95% Cl: 5.8, 6.1). Highest prevalence was in London (13.0% [12.3, 13.6]), among people of Black or Asian (mainly South Asian) ethnicity (17.3% [15.8, 19.1] and 11.9% [11.0, 12.8] respectively) and those aged 18-24 years (7.9% [7.3, 8.5]). Adjusted odds ratio for care home workers with client-facing roles was 3.1 (2.5, 3.8) compared with non-essential workers. One third (32.2%, [31.0-33.4]) of antibody positive individuals reported no symptoms. Among symptomatic cases, most (78.8%) reported symptoms during the peak of the epidemic in England in March (31.3%) and April (47.5%) 2020. We estimate that 3.36 million (3.21, 3.51) people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in England to end June 2020, with an overall infection fatality ratio (IFR) of 0.90% (0.86, 0.94); age-specific IFR was similar among people of different ethnicities.ConclusionThe SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in England disproportionately affected ethnic minority groups and health and care home workers. The higher risk of infection in minority ethnic groups may explain their increased risk of hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19.

Original publication




Journal article

Publication Date