Quebec Standard

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Spread of COVID-19 Omicron continues; the First case identified in B.C. as well

In B.C., the first instance of the COVID-19 Omicron strain was reported in a patient from the Fraser Health Authority with a recent travel history from Nigeria. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19.

In the last few days, 900 to 1,000 people have migrated to Canada from southern Africa, according to Health Minister Adrian Dix. Two hundred four of those travellers arrived in B.C., including the contaminated person, who is isolated at present.

According to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the case was identified through whole-genome sequencing, which is performed on everyone who tests positive for COVID19 after travelling overseas. She stated that “we can be confident” that the variation has not yet spread widely in British Columbia.

According to experimental evidence, the new strain spreads more easily, but it will take many weeks to gather enough data to determine whether it causes more severe sickness or makes vaccinations less effective, according to Henry. “We know that these alarming changes can occur and that in areas where vaccination rates are poor, they can spread quickly.”

Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta are the four other varieties of concern that Omicron follows. In B.C. Delta has prevailed. The Delta strains AY 25 and AY 27, with a scattering of AY 4.2 — termed the Delta variation plus — account for 99.6% of cases in B.C., according to Henry. It’s unclear whether Omicron will be able to compete with Delta in this region, she said.

After a rise in cases, Omicron was discovered in South Africa, but it’s unclear when it first appeared. There have been cases recorded from all across the globe. The existence of the Omicron strain was reported in Alberta for the third time in Canada. On Sunday, Ontario announced the first cases, while Quebec did so on Monday.

Source: Times Colonist

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