'No evidence' that age has an impact on how likely you are to catch coronavirus
Analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) did not find any evidence that people are more likely to catch coronavirus at different ages.
They looked at data for the proportion of people testing positive between the age categories 2 to 19, 20 to 49, 50 to 69 and 70 years and over.
‘There is currently no evidence that age affects the likelihood of being infected with COVID-19,’ they said.
The analysis is based on the results of swab tests collected from 10,705 participants in the coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey in England over the period April 27 to May 10 2020.
Researchers explained that the black lines on the graph indicate the confidence intervals for the actual percentage of the population infected with COVID-19 for different age groups.
They said: ‘The range of the values are large and overlap substantially for all age groups. This indicates that the actual percentage of individuals within an age group could be higher or lower than any other age group.’
The resarch also found that at any given time between those dates, an average of 0.27% of the general population had Covid-19. That works out as an average of 148,000 people at any one time in England.
For people working in patient-facing roles in healthcare or resident-facing social care roles, 1.33% tested positive for COVID-19.
The survey involved participants over the age of two years. Researchers tested whether they had the virus using self-administered throat and nose swabs, where parents or carers took swabs from younger children.
Every participant is swabbed once; participants are also invited to have repeat tests every week for the first five weeks as well as monthly for a period of 12 months in total.
Adults from around 2,000 households will also provide a blood sample to be tested for antibodies. These tests, the results of which are not yet available, will help determine what proportion of the population has developed antibodies to COVID-19.
An ONS spokesperson said: ‘These early results are only a small part of the planned testing work. Alongside our partners we will be looking to analyse more results to get a fuller picture of the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country over the next 12 months.’