At least four Canadian provinces have reported cases of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Very little is known about Omicron, the variant first reported by officials in South Africa and recently discovered in Canada, and it is unclear where it first originated. Omicron has a large number of mutations and the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that it is more transmissible and has already spread widely.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer for health, said that while the province does not expect a 100 percent loss in vaccine efficacy against the new variant, the 30 mutations in Omicron’s spike protein are concerning. . Peak proteins are the main antigen used to build immunity in all vaccine products.

The new variant is already in a host of countries, including the US, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Germany, the UK, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. .

Omicron’s discovery quickly led to global travel bans as countries scramble to slow the spread of the new variant of COVID. Hong Kong has banned non-resident travelers from “high risk” countries like Canada, where the variant has been detected.

These are the Canadian provinces that have reported Omicron cases:

Alberta (3)

The province first reported a case on November 30, when a traveler returning from Nigeria and the Netherlands tested positive for the new variant of Omicron. Alberta’s chief physician said the person was asymptomatic and in quarantine.

The provinces data from the public health unit now shows Alberta’s Omicron case count has risen to three cases.

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British Columbia (1)

BC has reported that a person who recently returned to BC from Nigeria has the province’s first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The province says the affected person is from the Fraser area and 204 people are in quarantine and undergoing screening after recently returning from countries in the southern Africa region.

Ontario (6)

The first Canadian cases of Omicron were discovered in Ottawa on November 28. Subsequently, Ottawa Public Health reported two additional cases. Ontario is also investigating two suspected COVID-19 cases in Hamilton for the new variant.

The new variant has already appeared in the GTA, with the Durham and Halton public health units reporting one case each.

Durham’s case has been linked to an employee who also works at the Toronto East Detention Center. As a result, the detention center has declared an outbreak and is closely monitoring four inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Toronto Public Health too notify people who recently visited a local cafe about possible exposure to a suspected case of the Omicron variant. An employee tested positive for COVID-19 and had recently traveled to South Africa.

Quebec (1)

Quebec has confirmed a case of the Omicron variant. Public health officials say the affected person is from Montreal and was twice vaccinated and asymptomatic.

The province announced the discovery of Omicron just as Quebec is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The province reported 1,355 new cases on Friday, the highest since mid-April.

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