Jubilee parties blamed for huge spike in Covid cases

Parties for the Jubilee have been blamed for a surge in Covid in the UK.

The infection rate leapt 43% after the long weekend of celebrations for the Queen’s 70th year.

Some 1.4 million people, one in 45, have it, up from one in 65 the week before.

But analysts at the Office for National Statistics say it is too early to know if this is the start of another wave.

After a lull in cases, there are increases in outbreaks in care homes and in hospitals among those aged 80 and over.

As well as the millions of people watching the Queen's celebrations from home, there was a crowd of 20,000 members of the public in attendance at the palace, not to mention hundreds of street parties across the UK and further afield.

The UK Health Security Agency’s Dr Mary Ramsay said: “We are not seeing an increase in intensive care admissions, but we are monitoring data closely.

“As we enter summer, it’s still important to remember that Covid-19 has not gone away and to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill.”

Two fast-spreading subvariants of Omicron are behind some infections.

People can catch them even if they have recently had other types of Covid.

But BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron are not thought to be any more lethal than other variants.

Last year, a study by A team of Stanford University experts found that the Omicron variant could cause problems with the ear.

The study reported symptoms including severe earache, ear numbness, and even temporary hearing loss, which can also continue even after the infection has passed.

These symptoms can also appear in those fully-vaccinated.

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