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HomeGlobal NewsManitoba better prepared for fall COVID-19 resurgence, microbiologist says - Winnipeg

Manitoba better prepared for fall COVID-19 resurgence, microbiologist says – Winnipeg


A medical microbiologist at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital says Manitoba will be better prepared for a resurgence of COVID-19 this fall.

Dr. Philippe Lagace-Wiens told 680 CJOB’s The News that cases of the new EG.5 subvariant of the virus are beginning to show up in the province.

EG.5, a fast-spreading Omicron subvariant, has dominated viral transmission in a number of countries, including Canada, in recent months, but is so far being considered a low public health risk on a global level.

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“We’re seeing some outbreaks in the hospitals, which sounds concerning — but it’s certainly something we’re prepared for and expect,” Lagace-Wiens said.

“As the disease presents in the community, people bring it into the hospital — whether that’s visitors or staff. We anticipate it, but we’re certainly seeing the effects of EG.5 as it emerges in Manitoba, for sure.”

Click to play video: 'Omicron’s cousin: EG.5 COVID-19 subvariant rising in Canada'

Omicron’s cousin: EG.5 COVID-19 subvariant rising in Canada

Thanks to vaccines, he said, most Manitobans have some degree of immunity to the virus even as new variants emerge. And while COVID-19 is rearing its ugly head again, it’s not going to be a repeat of the pandemic’s height a few years ago.

“This is not so much the pandemic virus that it used to be. Certainly, new variants are something that will emerge,” he said.

“Even if new variants emerge and that immunity is not perfect, it will continue to protect us against that more severe illness where we were getting our ICUs (intensive care units) flooded with patients and overburdened with patients.”

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Factors to watch for as far as the spread of the virus is concerned, Lagace-Wiens said, include kids going back to school and colder seasons coming up.

“We’re seeing a few more cases in the hospital that we did in July, so it’s creeping up. I can’t predict it’s going to become a big problem … but the severity isn’t something we’re really concerned about at this point, but we do need to monitor it as this new variant starts to present itself.”

Click to play video: 'New EG.5 variant detected in U.S. and U.K.'

New EG.5 variant detected in U.S. and U.K.

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