Awani Review

Complete News World

XBB.1.5 variant of COVID-19 is coming to Quebec

the sub alternative XBB.1.5, ie It is spreading like wildfire in the United States, begins to spread in Quebec. It represents 2.4% of cases between December 25 and 31, according to the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) which published new data on Wednesday. Twenty cases have been identified.

Inès Levade, a clinical specialist in medical biology at the INSPQ’s Quebec Public Health Laboratory, expects this percentage to increase. The question is more, will it increase as quickly in the US? “Says.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28% of cases of COVID-19 It was discovered last week attributed to XBB.1.5. The CDC has revised its estimate by 40%, which was first reported in the media after the new data was collected. “In the northeastern United States, it reached just over 70%,” adds Ines Levad.

It remains to be seen if the XBB.1.5 – which is part of the Omicron family – will replace it variants It is already in Quebec. During the holidays, BQ.1.1 dominated (65% of infections). “For several months we’ve been dealing with a kind of different soup, Inès Levade points out. We’re quite keen on predictions, about what we’re observing in another country and whether it could happen here. You can never be really sure.”

She cites as an example the first line of XBB that “dominated” in other countries, but did not take hold in Quebec. XBB remains less than 1% of cases in the county.

However, INSPQ is closely monitoring XBB.1.5, as the first case was detected at the end of November. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the variant is the most infectious to date.

See also  The COVID variant is spreading in a U.S. nursing home despite vaccination

It combines mutations that would give it “a great ability to evade our antibodies, the immune system’s first line of defense” as well as “a greater ability to bind to the receptors of the cells it infects,” specifies Ennis Livad.

“It doesn’t look meaner,” she continues. It does not appear to cause more serious illness. Although, if it gets transmitted much more than that, it’s still troublesome in the sense that we’d have more cases and therefore potentially more hospitalizations. »

Network is already under stress

The public health network remains under pressure. On Wednesday afternoon, the average stretcher occupancy rate in emergency rooms in Quebec was about 130%, according to the Santi Index. Suroît Hospital (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield), Royal-Victoria Hospital (Montréal), and Lanaudière Regional Hospital Center (Saint-Charles-Borromée) all reported rates of around 200%.

According to drs Guillaume Lacombe, vice president of the Quebec Association of Emergency Medicine Professionals, says many patients who need hospitalization are stuck in the emergency room, due to a lack of available beds on the floors.

Dr. is considereds Lacombe reported that at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, “50 to 70% of the emergency room stretcher patients in Greater Montreal” were waiting for a bed upstairs. “It’s disastrous,” he said. The understaffing is glaring.

Asked about emergencies during a press meeting on Wednesday, Health Minister Christian Dubi indicated that the Crisis Unit had made recommendations to reduce pressure on them. This cell held a meeting on Wednesday, according to sources confirmed to Must.

But what can be done in the short term to improve the situation? “It’s not so much new measures, but to implement those that have been proposed to us,” Christian Dubi answered in a press release.

See also  Shame of a man stuck in a theater wall

Since December 19, hospitals in the Greater Montreal area You must implement an “excessive capacity protocol” So that the floors can accommodate more patients when the emergency room is overflowing. A directive on this topic has been sent to CEOs of healthcare organizations.

In a press release, the minister acknowledged that this measure was not implemented everywhere. He added that those who did not implement their overpowering plan “often do not act out of lack of will.” “They may not have the resources or the experience to do that,” he said.

Christian Duby says he asked Assistant Deputy Minister Daniel Descharne, head of the Crisis Unit, to investigate “why” some hospitals aren’t resorting to overcapacity and “how we can help them.”

As for the XBB.1.5 sub-variant, Christian Dubi noted that “so far, there is no concern.”

In its latest update, the National Institute for Health and Social Services Excellence (INESSS) expects “a slight decrease in new hospitalizations” for patients with COVID-19 over the next two weeks. The number of occupied hospital beds will stabilize at around 2,150 (confidence interval between 1990 and 2,326), as will the number of intensive care beds (57, with a confidence interval between 53 and 62).

However, INNESSS notes that “this week’s forecasts are full of uncertainties, as the decline observed over the holiday period may be partly related to some delays in data entry.”

Let’s see in the video