Omicron COVID-19 variant likely re-infection 'over and over again', experts say - National |

Omicron COVID-19 variant likely re-infection ‘over and over again’, experts say – National |

Although COVID-19 cases are declining across the country, chances of re-infection with the virus are still possible — especially from the omicron variant — experts say.

“As long as it’s transmitted in the community, there’s always a possibility,” Stephen Hopton Kahn, a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health, told Global News.

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It also seems that getting an Omicron more than once is more likely than the other variants.

“It appears that the Omicron variant, in particular, is the one that will re-infect people over and over again,” Kelly McGinney, professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia’s School of Biomedical Engineering, told Global News.

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“It’s a bit like the common cold virus that tends to infect the upper airways, which is a place where you don’t tend to develop a strong immunity easily.”

Unlike Omicron, other types of virus tend to infect a person deeper in the airways, according to McGinney. “I think that gave you more protection,” he said.

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Thinking about a positive diagnosis of COVID-19

Thinking about a positive diagnosis of COVID-19

Lisa Glover, assistant director of health in Alberta, also says, “Re-infections have increased since Omicron became the dominant alternative.”

“The risk of reinfection from Omicron is much higher than any other type before,” Glover told Global News.

She said: “The main factor that increases the likelihood of infection again is weak immunity from a previous infection or not keeping up with full vaccinations against the Corona virus, including additional doses.”

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Regardless of the alternative, McGinney says a vaccination will give a higher level of protection against reinfection. Aside from vaccination, mask reauthorizations may also mean that fewer people will re-infect the virus.

That’s pretty obvious,” McGinney said. “Once we started getting rid of masks, infection rates started going up again.”

In places where many public health measures have been removed, transmission rates of COVID-19, as well as cases of influenza, have rebounded, Health Canada’s chief medical officer of Health, Dr. Theresa Tam, told reporters Friday during a virtual press conference.

“Personal protection habits help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as other risky transactions during illnesses,” she said. “This is a reminder that our efforts are still required.”

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“Now, because there are no masks, you see this huge increase in influenza in the population,” Horacio Bach, MD, associate clinical professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of British Columbia School of Medicine, told Global News.

“Masks are definitely the first line of defense,” Bach said, also noting that the return of mask mandates would reduce the potential for re-infection. He said, “I’m masked everywhere.” “She is my protection.”

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Even celebrities like comedian Jimmy Kimmel have tested positive for the virus more than once.

In an update on Twitter on May 17, Kimmel wrote, “I am a very positive person, I tested positive again.” But he added, “It’s fine.”

Most of the provinces that responded to the global news including Alberta, Nova Scotia and Quebec were unable to provide re-infection data. Between May 8 and 14 in Ontario, 415 re-infections of COVID-19 were reported in the province.

A spokesperson for the Northwest Territories also confirmed that individuals had been exposed to re-infection there.

“Reinfections with the COVID-19 virus were identified during the Omicron wave, with the majority of previous infections occurring during the Delta wave,” the spokesperson said to Global News in an email.

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What does the discovery of the Omicron sub-variable mean for Canadians

What does the discovery of the Omicron sub-variables mean for Canadians – May 18, 2022

As of May 20, the seven-day average of lab-confirmed cases in Canada was just above 3,564, down more than 60 percent from the rate seen a month earlier.

The number of Canadians seeking hospital treatment for COVID-19 reached 4,880 patients, down more than 20 percent from two weeks ago. That includes 349 people receiving treatment in intensive care units, a number that has now stabilized after declining during the first half of April.

The country is currently seeing an average of 63 deaths per day. The rate remained flat throughout early May after rising steadily over the course of April. However, newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 have raised the national total to more than 3.84 million cases and more than 40,600 deaths.

As of May 19, more than 84,952,660 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

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To date, nearly 35 million Canadians have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 31 million Canadians have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.

Since it was authorized in September 2021, 18,610,469 “booster” doses have been given, according to available provincial and territorial data, meaning 48.7 percent of the Canadian population has received three doses.

As of May 19, 90.4 percent of eligible Canadians aged five and over had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 86.2 percent were fully vaccinated with two doses. Vaccinations for children aged 5-11 were approved by Health Canada last November.

– With files from Sean Boynton

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

2022-05-27 00:27:00

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