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Thousands of coronavirus cases recorded in hospital were caught on site, new research suggests

Published on 26/08/20 at 12:34pm
Photo by FrancisTyers

Thousands of coronavirus cases are thought to have been transmitted within UK hospitals, according to a new study.

Researchers at King’s College London looked at 10 different UK hospitals, and one in Italy, and found that at least one in eight coronavirus patients who were treated at hospital caught it on site. They analysed data on 1,500 cases at the virus’s peak in the UK on 28 April.

However, only those who tested positive 15 days or more after admission were counted as cases caught in hospitals. Due to the long incubation period of COVID-19, it will be impossible to get a complete picture of how many were infected in hospitals.

Dr Ben Carter, one of the lead authors of the study, said: “The majority of these patients had already been in hospital for a long time. They were older, frailer and had pre-existing health conditions."

The study is also flawed because it only looked at people who were treated in hospital for the virus, and not the many people who caught the disease and showed little to no symptoms and recovered at home. It also would not have recorded significant data from those who only stayed in hospital for a short time with mild symptoms.

Conor Kavanagh

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