- On Thursday, Quebec reported 2,326 people in hospital (a decrease of 46 from the previous day), including 85 in intensive care (a decrease of seven from the previous day).
- The province reported 1,768 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths.
- Since the start of the pandemic there have been 1,039,426 confirmed cases, and 14,951 people have died.
- The province also reported 9,377 healthcare workers absent for COVID-related reasons.
- 91% of the province’s eligible population (five years and older) have received a dose of the vaccine; 87 percent have received two doses and 54 percent have received three doses..
*New cases are those reported to the Quebec government only. They are believed to be an underrepresentation of the spread of the virus, given the limited availability of PCR tests and the use of home test kits.
*The Quebec Ministry of Health no longer reports COVID-19 numbers over the weekend.
Quebec’s acting director of public health is expected to provide an update on the future of mandatory mask wearing in closed public spaces at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Sources had initially told Radio-Canada that Dr. Luc Boileau, Quebec’s acting director of public health, was expected to announce his recommendation to remove mandatory masking from May 14.
Radio-Canada has since learned that Boileau is still considering his decision. He is scheduled to give a press conference at 2 p.m.
Last week, the province extended the mask-wearing mandate, which was due to be lifted at the end of April, until mid-May to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
On Wednesday, Quebec’s health research institute INESSS said the province’s sixth wave may be coming to an end as the institute’s projections showed a decline in COVID-related hospitalizations over the next two weeks. .
Stomach bug or COVID?
Some doctors reported seeing more COVID-19 patients suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms in recent weeks.
But medical experts say there are some possible explanations, and they’re not necessarily due to the strains of COVID-19 currently circulating in Canada. Diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain have been recognized as common symptoms of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, while nausea, reflux, heartburn, loss of appetite, and weight loss are also recognized as symptoms. potentials.
According to Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist in Mississauga, Ontario, it’s not that Omicron is necessarily causing more gastrointestinal problems, but that it’s now easier to detect COVID-19 in patients than it was earlier in the pandemic.
Chakrabarti’s hypothesis is supported by data from the UK-based ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, through which millions of people reported their symptoms during the pandemic.
Dr. Ana Sant’Anna, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Montreal Children’s Hospital, said she recently saw young patients with blood in their stool or vomiting, and some had suffered tears in their gastrointestinal tract as a result of vomiting.
Despite the severity of their symptoms, almost all of the young COVID patients recovered quickly after treatment, he said.
The flu returns to Quebec
With the flu returning to the province after a nearly two-year hiatus, a team of Quebec researchers has found that the influenza virus could hasten the end of the sixth wave of COVID-19 infections.
But they also found that it’s possible for some people to be infected with both viruses at the same time, leading to more severe symptoms.
Influenza infections reached epidemic levels again in early April, meaning the proportion testing positive for the virus exceeded five percent. The positive test result has now reached 11 percent, a level typically seen in January and February in Quebec.
“It’s very unusual for a flu epidemic to start so late in the year,” said Dr. Guy Boivin, a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the Center Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Quebec City’s network of teaching hospitals.
He and his team of researchers from Université Laval, together with Swiss researcher Clément Fage, published a study earlier this year on how the influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 , interact with each other.
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What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- New or worsening cough.
- labored breathing
- Sudden loss of smell without nasal congestion.
- Gastrointestinal problems (such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting).
- Throat pain
- Widespread muscle pain.
- loss of appetite
If you think you may have COVID-19, the government asks that you call 1‑877‑644‑4545 to make an appointment at a screening clinic.
To book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go to the online portal quebec.ca/covidvaccine. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.