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Omicron COVID-19 variant likely to re-infect ‘over and over again,’ experts say

Although COVID-19 cases are declining across the country, chances of getting re-infected with the virus are still possible — especially from the omicron variant — experts say.

“As long as it’s transmitting in the community, there’s always a possibility,” Stephen Hoption Cann, clinical professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of population and public health, told Global News.

Read more: Ontario COVID numbers: 1,116 people in hospital, 160 in intensive care

Getting Omicron more than once also seems more likely than with other variants.

“The Omicron variant, in particular, seems to be one that will re-infect people over and over again,” Kelly McNagny, professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia’s school for biomedical engineering, told Global News.

“It’s a little bit more like the common cold virus that tends to infect the upper airways, which is a place where you tend not to develop strong immunity easily.”

Unlike Omicron, other variants of the virus tend to infect someone deeper in the airways, according to McNagny. “I think that gave you a bit more protection,” he said.

Lisa Glover, assistant director of Alberta Health, also says “reinfections have increased since Omicron has become the dominant variant.”

“The risk of reinfection from Omicron is much higher than any other previous variant,” Glover told Global News.

“A major factor that increases the likelihood of reinfection is the waning immunity from a previous infection or not being fully up-to-date with COVID-19 immunization, including additional doses,” she said.

Regardless of the variant, McNagny says being vaccinated will give a higher level of protection against reinfection. Aside from vaccination, bringing back mask

Alberta Health Theresa Tam

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COVID-19 won’t disappear and provinces need to ‘evolve,’ says Canada’s top doctor
COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia’s premier has said he’s looking for ways to balance public protection with individual freedom.In a Friday press conference after a meeting of all Canadian premiers, John Horgan said he and other provincial and territorial leaders, discussed interprovincial travel rights as the Omicron variant continues to impact public health restrictions.“As we come to this place of moving in the next number of weeks to potentially endemic rather than pandemic, we need to reimagine the tools at our disposal as citizens and as provinces, and as a federal government is,” said Horgan.“How do we maximize our ability to protect people, which is our obligation, but also to ensure that their liberties are intact and they can make choices for themselves? It’s a fine balance and we’re all working together on how do we get there?” Canadian premiers push for boost in health-care funding from Ottawa In a news conference Friday, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that as Canada emerges from the “Omicron wave,” it’s important for governments to recognize that the virus isn’t going to disappear.“We need to be able to address the ongoing presence of the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus in a more sustainable way,” she said.“The virus will continue to evolve so we need to also continue to evolve our measures, recognizing that further waves will occur.”Her comments come as two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, have announced intentions to end most or all COVID-19 restrictions.
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