Aug 15, 2023

By Christine Ross

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The latest data suggests COVID-19 activity may be increasing.

McMaster University immunologist Dawn Bowdish says an offshoot of Omicron, the E-G-5 subvariant is in Canada now, but will start dominating in the coming weeks.

“The virus does have a few quirks it does look like it has some immune evasive properties and it does look like other countries like the US and possibly the UK are starting to have an increase in hospitalizations and more severe infections due to this variant.”

Bowdish says the COVID-19 vaccines expected this fall are a good match to combat the virus and adds even if this variant isn’t as severe, it has the potential to strain our hospital capacity.

She points out we’ve had four Omicron waves so far each and all have stressed our hospital system.

In a statement, the World Health Organization says, “Based on the available evidence, the public health risk posed by EG.5 is evaluated as low at the global level, aligning with the risk associated with XBB.1.16 and the other currently circulating VOIs.”

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