12 cases of XBB.1.5 variant in B.C.
Good evening thanks for joining us a new covid variant is exploding across the U.S and Asia now it’s spreading in BC Health officials are monitoring the so-called Kraken variant which is highly contagious cdv’s Penny dafloss joins us Penny you were talking to Dr Bonnie Henry about her concerns about this variant I was but first off we have to.
Address this nickname of Kraken scientists are slamming it as sensationalist fear-mongering during a very serious time today the World Health Organization revealed xbb.1.5 is the most contagious variant we’ve seen and we now know BC went from five cases detected last week to 12 as of today.
But I expect we’ll see some more but there’s still a very small percentage so we’re not seeing that rapid takeoff that we saw uh that we’ve seen in some places in the U.S for example but it is a concern you know this virus changes but at the end of the day it’s still Omicron and what we are seeing across the board is that vaccination still gives you good.
Strong protection against serialness so leading to hospitalization or death and so that’s really important are you concerned that when we have emphasized vaccination and that’s kind of the Prime strategy in BC that here we’ve got uh potentially immune evasive variant coming in doesn’t that pose a problem for us here it is still really important.
To get booster doses if you haven’t had a booster dose in the last six months get that by valence now and if you’ve had a recent infection get it after about three months and that will give you good strong protection that will carry you through this next few months U.S jurisdictions that have seen this really steep rise in xbb15 are seeing.
Also an increase in hospitalizations and I think that’s something that a lot of people are like oh my God our system can’t handle something like that right now we’re already stretched so thin shouldn’t we be doing more to try to preserve our health care System well as you know our system has been stretched for a long time and we’ve seen that.
Effect and we’ve seen that over the last few months with uh with RSV and and influenza and all of these things together so I think where I’m most concerned is in those areas where vaccination rates are lower um and it is really important it’s not too late to make a difference and to protect yourself from strains like this.
That are going to arise no matter what but there were more people who died last year as counted as Cova deaths than the previous year will we be seeing more of you this year kind of trying to communicate that and keep covid-19 on people’s radar so that it you know has you know vaccinations and and the risks more top of mind.
Um or are you going to have some other change in approach to kind of keep people thinking about this thing this pandemic is not over yet it will be over I think but we have some a few more months that we need to pay attention to things like getting our booster doses watching what’s happening globally and making sure that we’re ready.
Yeah Penny as you mentioned I think for a lot of people kovid’s not really top of mind right now so maybe this new strain will get more people their boosters so what else did you and Dr Henry discuss uh it’s a pretty extensive conversation we discussed the importance of masks and crowded places and where you’re still most likely to get covid-19.
But we also discussed my story yesterday on the continued limited access to the Cova treatment paxlovid it doesn’t sound like she’ll make it any easier to get here but you can watch her full explanation in the interview the whole thing will be up soon on vancouver.ctvnews.ca okay thank you penny.