A new subvariant of the coronavirus called HV.1 is gaining ground in Canada, experts say.
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This is a sub-variant of Omicron. It’s one of the only subvariants seeing continued growth in the country, Health Canada reports.
In August, the subvariant accounted for 2.1 per cent of reported cases, while as of Oct. 29, it accounted for 34.4 per cent of cases, according to Health Canada records.
“It’s here,” Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist, told Global News.
As the HV.1 strain spreads, health experts like Bogoch warn that it may still be too early to determine whether it is more contagious than previous strains.
Although the HV.1 strain is gaining ground, Health Canada said that as of Nov. 7, the overall spread of COVID-19 was moderate to low across the country.
Origin of subvariant HV.1
According to Health Canada, HV.1 is another variant of Omicron XBB that hails from EG.5.
According to Mr. Bogoch, the submutant is not necessarily more virulent than its predecessors, but it could be particularly adept at evading Canadians’ immune systems.
Currently, Canada refers to any descendant of Omicron as a “surrogate of interest” unless otherwise noted.
The variable of interest has the potential to replace the dominant alternative. However, the impact on the population is not necessarily known. The new variant could also have effects that are not significantly different from those of its predecessors.
What are the symptoms of HV.1?
The symptoms of HV.1 closely mirror those of the previous variants: general malaise, fatigue, body aches, fever, cough, and runny nose.
In more severe cases, people may experience shortness of breath, which could lead to hospitalization, Bogoch said.
He adds that it’s important to remember that regardless of the strain, older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at high risk and more susceptible to this infection.
One symptom that appears to be less common than before is loss of the sense of smell or taste, said Dr. Brian Conway, medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Disease Centre.
“At the beginning of the coronavirus, people were losing their sense of taste and smell. This is no longer the case today. “The reason may be that the symptoms have disappeared due to background immunity to Covid.”
Finally, to the extent that all the dominant subvariants are associated with Omicron, the Omicron vaccine remains effective, Mr. Conway asserts.
“Get vaccinated […] He explains that it is likely to boost immunity in the majority of people, prevent serious diseases and significantly reduce transmission within the community.
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