Friday, September 22, 2023

COVID-19 is present again in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean with Eris

The number of hospitalizations, in particular, doesn’t lie. Below the five mark for much of the summer, they rose to 20 last week.

Almost all of them are “vulnerable” people, says Donald Aubin, regional director of Public Health. “They are really the most affected. There was a period where we had variants that had a lot of power, like Delta, which was really problematic. But when you’re in the Omicron family, it’s a little less strong. »

“It still affects,” he adds, “but people with immunity, very often hybrid, recover more quickly. After a certain number of hours, two or three days, we at least feel that the fight has begun. (…) That is thanks to vaccination since people who have received it have a form of immunity. »

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This new variant, which is currently circulating in its vast majority, is Eris, a “descendant” of the previous one, XBB.1.5, still from the Omicron family, explains Dr. Donald Aubin. A little complex details, he admits, but they simply mean that the next vaccine, scheduled for early October in the region, will be even more effective.

“This means that we will have a much more specific vaccine. Instead of having a bivalent one, which contains two vaccines, we will have one that has a single strain. Since the other is a descendant of the first, that will give us a chance in terms of immunity. »

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Although it will not be denied to anyone, it is especially to vulnerable people that Public Health recommends this new vaccine.

Because COVID will indeed circulate this fall, predicts Donald Aubin, while Eris could even arrive with other variants, and certainly with the old flu. “Influenza, you never know the number of cases you will have. There are years when we have a little less, others when we have a lot. Unfortunately, it’s always November, December, during the holidays. »

And we must behave a little the same from now on with each virus, he indicates, whether it is COVID, the flu or gastroenteritis. Although there are no longer strict guidelines as before, Public Health advises avoiding contact as much as possible during the first days.

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“We trust the population, which already has a lot of education. (…) There is a period during which we are contagious, during which we can transmit it to others in a significant way. Therefore, it is best to remain isolated as much as possible, to avoid contagion. And if we need to have contact, we advise – but it is advice – to wear a mask,” concludes Dr. Aubin, who has the impression that the message is well understood, since we see fewer and fewer sick people in public places. According to.

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