Three COVID-19 deaths in Ottawa linked to worrisome variants

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Three COVID-19 deaths in Ottawa linked to worrisome variants


OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health reports that three of the 463 deaths from COVID-19 in Ottawa are linked to variants of concern (COVs).
OPH recently started posting local COV statistics on its COVID-19 dashboard. On Tuesday, it shows that 589 cases have tested positive for a VOC or mutation.

To date, Ottawa has confirmed 23 cases of variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the UK, and six cases of variant B.1.351, which was first detected in South Africa.

To date, Ottawa has yet to see a confirmed case of the P.1 variant, which was first identified in Brazil.

In addition to confirmed VOCs, OPH reports mutations, which are identified as N501Y and E484K. This refers to a spike protein detected in the virus.

There are 527 cases that tested for the N501Y mutation, six cases that tested positive for the E848K mutation and 27 cases tested positive for both.

“These three VOCs carry the same mutation on the spike protein, known as ‘N501Y’. This genetic marker can be used to screen samples positive for COVID-19 to see if they should undergo further testing for COV, ”OPH said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“Currently in Ontario, all COVID-19 positive samples that have sufficient volume and amount of virus (CT value) are tested for the N501Y mutation,” OPH said. “It can take three to four days. If the N501Y mutation is detected, the sample will be sent for genomic sequencing to confirm whether or not a VOC is detected. It may take up to two weeks. Samples positive for an N501Y are most likely a VOC. ”

OPH says the number of cases associated with N501Y means these are people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and a mutation in the virus has been detected. Samples must be sent for further genomic sequencing before a VOC can be confirmed and further identified as B.1.1.7, B1351, or P1 variants.

The number of cases with a mutation detected has more than tripled in the past two weeks. According to data from Public Health Ontario, 180 cases of the mutation had been detected as of March 16.

A recent report from the Ontario Science Table found that the variants of concern now account for 67% of all cases in the province and are starting to have a “substantial impact” on the health care system due to a higher likelihood of illness. hospitalization and even death.

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