IANS

The SARS-CoV-2 may be becoming just another respiratory bug, along with flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus and adenovirus, UK experts contended.

With 2,257 cases being recorded daily, the UK is currently seeing a fresh rise in Covid-19 infections.

The related-hospitalisation is also at a five-month high -- 3,366 patients, the UK Health Security Agency (HSA) report said.

Yet they are still far below levels seen during the pandemic. Covid is "well on the way" to becoming seasonal, Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious-diseases expert at the University of East Anglia was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Prof Hunter said that flu is likely to cause more deaths from now on, while Covid will eventually become "just another cause of the common cold", like the other coronaviruses that circulate.

During the winter of 2022, there were estimated to be more flu deaths than Covid ones in England -- just over 14,000 compared with 10,000, the UK, HSA said.

The immunity to serious illness built up from vaccination and infection means the death rate per Covid infection is now well below that of flu, Prof Hunter said.

However, Prof Adam Kucharski, who advised the government during the pandemic, agrees there are positive signs but remains a little more cautious, the BBC reported.

"We are seeing hints of seasonality but I wouldn't say we're definitely there," Prof Kucharski was quoted as saying. He pointed out there is still much more data on Covid than other respiratory viruses.

Meanwhile, the UKHSA has warned people in the country to brace for another bout of infections due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus this winter.

The agency maintained that cases will “further increase” as the season progresses, along with other “winter respiratory viruses like flu”.

Prof Mike Tildesley, a modeller in infectious diseases, from the University of Warwick, said Covid could still end up causing more deaths than flu this winter, BBC reported. "There was quite a rebound for flu last year," he said, "partly because immunity was down following a few years of not much flu circulating - so we may see the picture change this winter."

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