COVID-19: Dr. Bonnie Henry says Nigerian variant identified in B.C.

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Lab groups in B.C. are working with counterparts throughout Canada and overseas to get a greater understanding of whether or not the Nigerian variant is well transmissible or causes extra extreme sickness.

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The provincial well being officer says 47 circumstances of COVID-19 variants have been recognized within the province, together with the primary case in Canada of a variant believed to be linked to Nigeria.

Dr. Bonnie Henry stated Friday the brand new variant, labelled B.1.525, was lately present in an adolescent from the Inside Well being area who’s at the moment self-isolating.  The variant is underneath investigation however thus far it has not been linked to any transmission in B.C.

“We aren’t solely clear but whether or not this variant additionally has elevated transmissibility or causes extra extreme sickness, however our lab group is working with their counterparts throughout the nation and internationally to get a greater understanding of what this will imply,” Henry stated, including scientists have to know whether or not it’s extra simply transmissible or causes extra extreme sickness.

It’s the first time that individual variant has been recognized in Canada.

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B.C. additionally has 29 circumstances associated to a variant first recognized in the UK and 17 related to South Africa.

She says variants of concern do transit extra rapidly and trigger extra extreme sickness although it’s reassuring that solely three circumstances had been lately recognized amongst 3,099 circumstances that had been examined for the variants.

This week, the B.C. Centre for Illness Management has been ramping up screening for brand new COVID mutations to find out what number of variants of concern are circulating all through the province. Henry stated this week B.C. can also be monitoring for the California variant CAL.20C, which has been linked to a surge in circumstances in Southern California.

Henry reported 445 new circumstances of COVID-19, for a complete of 72,750 circumstances within the province thus far, together with 10 extra deaths, totalling 1,288 fatalities for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

She urged residents to take care of restrictions on gatherings in the course of the Household Day lengthy weekend, which coincides with Lunar New Yr celebrations, however says colder climate could scale back journey, that means “Mom Nature goes to be on our aspect.”

“We’re trending in the suitable route, pushing our curve down, however slowly. And we have to guarantee our success sticks, which implies staying the course with our layers of safety and persevering with to comply with the entire public well being restrictions and steering.”

Henry says first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in long-term care and assisted-living services have meant a dramatic drop in outbreaks at services throughout the province.

She says second doses nonetheless have to be administered to most residents and employees however there’s clear proof that first doses have slowed down transmission of the virus.

Henry says an rising variety of vaccine doses are anticipated to reach in B.C. subsequent week and onward after a slowdown in deliveries.


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