Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more 11 Disruptive Startups Selected for Cohort 3 of the Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator Program powered by Startupbootcamp AfricaRead more Africa Data Centres breaks ground on new Sameer facility in NairobiRead more Coffee with a human face: A union that improves livelihoods for Ugandan farmersRead more Trends Predicted to drive the retail industry in 2023Read more Vantage Capital exits Pétro IvoireRead more

Coronavirus variant infections increasing in countries, including Canada, US

show caption
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Travelers from China will need to undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to Australia as cases rise in the key tourism and business market. (Steven Saphore - Anadolu Agency)
Print Friendly and PDF

Jan 06, 2023 - 02:50 AM

TRENTON, Canada (AA) – Omicron offshoots are gaining traction in the US and Canada, it was reported Thursday, the same day mandatory coronavirus testing for arrivals from China takes effect in both countries.

Many variants are battling to become the most prevalent virus and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted about 40% of the country’s cases are from offshoots of the virus while in the UK, they account for one-in-25 cases.

Reports are that the Omicron variant, XBB.1.5, is the dominant offshoot in the US. But in Canada figures are not completely reliable since provinces were tardy in reporting cases due to the holiday season.

“At this time, it is too early to tell if the XBB.1.5 variant is growing in Canada,” the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in a statement Tuesday.

But PHAC reported Wednesday that it has knowledge of 21 XBB.1.5 cases but said it could be higher.

Experts said XBB.1.5 will likely become the dominant virus amongst a field of several contestants.

“I would expect that it will eventually outcompete the currently predominant BA.5-derived lineages in Canada,” Art Poon, a professor of viral evolution and bioinformatics at Western University in Canada, told the CBC.

Since the XBB.1.5 variant was discovered in October, it has been found in 25 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

The problem is that XBB.1.5 could include mutations that attach to human cells and slip through immune systems.

Still, no one is hitting the panic button just yet.

“At this time there is no alarm,” said researcher and variant tracker Fiona Brinkman, from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. “But we are definitely cautiously watching this and other variants that are showing signs of having key mutations.”

It could, however, lead to more infections as hospitals are struggling to cope with COVID cases.

Officials said mandatory testing of Chinese travelers is due to a rise in cases in that country and a lack of information from Beijing about case numbers.

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.