England’s Euro 2020 progress could be behind infections rising faster among men than women in the past two weeks, Imperial College London data suggests.
The React study, which tested more than 47,000 volunteers across England between 24 June and 5 July, confirms a “substantial third wave of infections”.
And the men were 30% more likely than the women to test positive for Covid.
The infections had not translated into a large number of people in hospital or dying, however, the study found.
And vaccinated men and women were much less likely than others to catch the virus.
“It could be that watching football is resulting in men having more social activity than usual,” report author Prof Steven Riley said.
The report also found:
- prevalence of the virus had risen from 0.15% in early June to 0.59% in early July
- big rises in infections across all age groups under 75 and especially among younger people
- 1.33% of the 13-17 and 1.4% of the 18-24-year-olds were infected
- London had seen the largest increase in infections – to 1.08%
- vaccinated under-65s were three times less likely to be infected than unvaccinated people of the same age
- two vaccine doses gave 72% protection against a positive test result
The study results show a similar pattern to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey data published weekly, which also uses tests of people in the community.
“We are entering a critical period with a number of important competing processes,” the report says.