New Brunswick Tribune

Thursday, November 30, 2023

N.B. records the first instance of a new Omicron subvariant

The first instance of a new Omicron subvariant is recorded by N.B

Key Takeaways:

  • The new Omicron subvariant BA.2 has been discovered in New Brunswick, according to the Department of Health.
  • While the nation’s Omicron wave does seem to be peaking, the subvariant could extend it, according to Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical health officer.
  • In less than a week, another New Brunswicker had also died from COVID-19, bringing the overall number of COVID-related deaths to 24.

According to the Department of Health, the fresh Omicron subvariant BA.2 has shown up in New Brunswick.

The microbiology lab at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton confirmed that a person in the Moncton region, Zone 1, had tested positive.

BA.2 is more contagious than the BA.1 Omicron variant that is already wreaking havoc on the province.

There has been no data released about the person’s condition, immunization status, or the source of infection.

Officials from the Department of Health might not be reached for comment right away.

Also read: N.B. The first residents of the tiny home community have arrived

“While the impact of all variants is still being assessed, we know that vaccination — including a booster — in combination with Public Health as well as individual measures is critical in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and its variants,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the state’s chief medical officer.

BA.2 has now spread to more than 50 countries worldwide.

Last Friday, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical health officer, said that while the country’s overall Omicron wave appears to be peaking, the subvariant could extend it.

It might be 1.5 times more infectious, according to Denmark’s leading public health institute, highlighting the threat of the rapidly mutating virus.

However, when compared to BA.1, Danish scientists found no difference in hospitalizations, and vaccines are predicted to protect against severe illness.

Since November, so much than 100 cases of BA.2 have been identified in Canada, with about 77 of those coming from the National Microbiology Laboratory and the rest from provinces and territories, according to Tam.

“I strongly encourage everyone to schedule a vaccine appointment or visit a walk-in immunization clinic,” Russell said, “as we know that this is the best defense against these variants, and it will decrease the risk of serious outcomes and hospitalizations.”

The first instance of a new Omicron subvariant is recorded by N.B
The first instance of a new Omicron subvariant is recorded by N.B. Image from CTV News

There was one death, and 162 people were admitted to the hospital.

Another New Brunswicker has died from COVID-19, bringing the total number of COVID-related deaths to 24 in less than a week.

According to the COVID dashboard, the most recent death occurred in the Bathurst region, Zone 6.

After two days at a pandemic high of 165, people in hospitals dropped to 162 on Friday.

70 of them are being treated for COVID-19, while the other 93 are being treated for COVID, which means they were admitted for another reason when they tested positive for the virus.

Three more people, totaling 17, are in intensive care, and three more, nine, are on ventilators.

Two of the people admitted to the hospital are under the age of 19, and 118 are over 60.

Three of those in ICU are in their forties, one in their fifties, three in their sixties, seven in their seventies, and three in their eighties.

The seven-day average of hospitalizations has risen to 161 from 157, while ICU admissions have remained constant at 15.

After testing positive for COVID, 399 healthcare workers have been placed on leave, up from 397 on Thursday. Horizon Health Network has 186 patients, Vitalité Health Network has 140, and Extra-Mural/Ambulance New Brunswick has 73.

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) lab tests confirmed 401 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 3,916.

A total of 403 people said they tested positive at home using rapid tests.

Source: CBC News

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