17 Million Canadians Got Omicron in 5 Months, Says New Federal Report
Some sobering numbers from the Canadian COVID-19 Immunity Task Force reveal how quickly the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and its subvariants spread across the country in late 2021 and during the first months of this year.
The task force shows that 17 million Canadians were infected in just five months, between December 2021 and May 2022, its data suggests.
This represents on average more than 100,000 infections per day.
Task force officials call it an “Omicron tsunami.”
“This variant was extremely transmissible. This caused people to have asymptomatic infections, infections without symptoms, so they continued to do their daily work. And we were lifting all those restrictions,” Dr. Catherine Hankins, co-chair of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, told Global News.
The results come from blood tests that were carried out across the country where antibodies with evidence of COVID-19 infections were measured.
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There has been a recent increase in the number of daily cases in several parts of Canada this summer. In Quebec, July 6 marked the highest number of new infections recorded in more than two months.
The Public Health Agency of Canada predicts more cases in the coming months due to the increase in Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 sublines, according to its June 30 statement.
“A lot of people mistakenly believe that if you get COVID once, you can never get COVID again. It’s not true,” Dr. Christopher Labos, an epidemiologist told Global News.
A high percentage of Canadians are fully immunized, but most young adults and youth have still not received their third dose.
« If it’s been a long time since your third dose and you’re at higher risk, because the number of cases is increasing, I would probably get a fourth dose at this point, » Dr. Labos told those who are eligible. .
Epidemiologists say up-to-date vaccines and wearing masks in crowded spaces still offer the best protection against COVID-19, especially hospitalization.
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