Changing risk factors for developing SARS-CoV-2 infection from Delta to Omicron

Hunter, Paul R. ORCID: and Brainard, Julii (2024) Changing risk factors for developing SARS-CoV-2 infection from Delta to Omicron. PLoS One, 19 (5). ISSN 1932-6203

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BACKGROUND: One of the few studies to estimate infection risk with SARS-CoV-2 in the general population was the UK Office of National Statistics Infection Survey. This survey provided data that allowed us to describe and interpret apparent risk factors for testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a period when variants and COVID-19 controls experienced large changes. METHOD: The ONS published estimates of likelihood of individuals testing positive in two week monitoring periods between 21st November 2021 and 7th May 2022, relating this positivity to social and behavioural factors. We applied meta-regression to these estimates of likelihood of testing positive to determine whether the monitored potential risk factors remained constant during the pandemic. RESULTS: Some risk factors had consistent relationship with risk of infection (always protective or always linked to higher risk, throughout monitoring period). Other risk factors had variable relationship with risk of infection, with changes seeming to especially correlate with the emergence of Omicron BA.2 dominance. These variable factors were mask wearing habits, history of foreign travel, household size, working status (retired or not) and contact with children or persons age over 70. CONCLUSION: Relevance of some risk factors to likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 may relate to reinfection risk, variant infectiousness and status of social distancing regulations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Data Availability: The data used in this study are not owned by the authors and therefore cannot be directly publicly redistributed by the authors for instance, by placing the dataset in a public archive. However, the data are currently publicly available at: Funding: PRH and JB were funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU, grant NIHR200890) in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King’s College London in partnership with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), in collaboration with the University of East Anglia. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, any of our employers, the Department of Health or the UKHSA. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Epidemiology and Public Health
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Population Health
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2024 18:34
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 09:30
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0299714


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