Disease Control

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 6th September 2020.

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Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Chair, Conservative Party 1922 Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the R value of (a) covid-19, (b) seasonal influenza and (c) measles.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The latest value of ‘R’ for COVID-19 is estimated each week and published by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk

The ‘R’ value for seasonal influenza and measles are not assessed regularly as rates of infection and are measured in a different way. A variety of data sources are collated to provide information on circulating influenza strains. In-season and end-of-season monitoring of seasonal influenza vaccine uptake and vaccine effectiveness is undertaken. Public Health England’s (PHE) ‘Flu annual report: winter 2019 to 2020’ is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-flu-reports

PHE have published the ‘Measles and rubella elimination UK strategy’ which includes information on transmission of measles and how to reduce transmission rates. This report is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/measles-and-rubella-elimination-uk-strategy

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