Covid Scotland: Who is catching Covid-19 as cases reach five-month high?

Covid cases have been on the rise in Scotland for more than a month and have now reached their highest daily total since January 27, at 1,317.

But with 56 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, who is catching the virus now?

The vast majority are younger people, with just under half (about 45 per cent) of cases now in people under the age of 25.

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Around this time last year, that age group accounted for fewer than 5 per cent of recorded cases.

A nurse checking on a patient suffering with Covid-19 on the critical care unit. Picture: PA MediaA nurse checking on a patient suffering with Covid-19 on the critical care unit. Picture: PA Media
A nurse checking on a patient suffering with Covid-19 on the critical care unit. Picture: PA Media

There are also higher case numbers in children.

There were very few cases in under-15s in the first months of the pandemic, but numbers began to rise in October last year and are now at their highest point so far.

Despite this they are still low, and paediatricians have not sounded the alarm over a rise in children getting ill with Covid.

Experts have pinpointed several reasons for more in younger people now, not least that many are returning to “normal life” as restrictions ease.

Younger people are also proportionally more likely to catch the virus now, as few under-40s are fully vaccinated, and while you can still get Covid after both doses, it’s much less likely.

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A part of the rise in cases is also down to an increase in reporting. Much more testing is being done now, of students at universities and children in schools, and of people without symptoms, who are more likely to be younger.

Thankfully, these recent cases have translated into hospital admissions much more slowly than before. About 5 per cent of cases end up in hospital now, compared to 10 per cent at the beginning of this year.

Despite earlier fears, researchers have so far found no evidence the Delta variant of Covid itself has more of an effect on young people.

But young people do still get severely ill with Covid.

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New figures from Public Health Scotland show there were 27 people under 30 in hospital with Covid in the week to June 1, including eight children under ten.

However, these figures are not a complete measure, as they include anyone admitted to hospital for a different reason, but who tested positive in the two weeks prior to admission, or caught the virus while in hospital.

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