- The virus in two cities remained unchanged, while the virus in a third city decreased, according to the most recent COVID-19 wastewater data.
- Virus RNA from neither BA.2 nor BA.1 compensates for about 15% of the virus RNA in the wastewater in Saskatoon.
According to the most recent COVID-19 wastewater data, the virus in the two cities remained unchanged, while the virus in a third city decreased.
They do, however, show the more transmissible BA.
The Omicron variant is spreading in two strains.
The new strain accounts for 70% of all COVID-19 RNA detected in North Battleford wastewater, up from under 50% a week ago.
BA.2 now accounts for 42.5 percent of the population in Saskatoon, up from 19 percent previously.
In Prince Albert, BA.2 now accounts for 13.6 percent of COVID samples detected, up from around 5% previously.
BA.1, the original Omicron strain, is found in almost all of the remaining virus in Prince Albert and North Battleford.
Virus RNA from neither BA.2 nor BA.1 makes up about 15% of the virus RNA in Saskatoon’s wastewater.
Toxicologist John Giesy, who directs the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Water Security, which measures the levels in the three cities, believes it’s Alpha or Delta, though he can’t be certain.
He couldn’t say how the strain might affect Saskatchewan residents and hospitals because patterns are hard to discern due to a lack of timely government data and public health orders and a largely vaccinated population.
The new strain has resulted in a new wave of infections and hospitalizations in Denmark. Giesy previously stated that he did not believe this would occur in Canada or Saskatchewan.
“However, with this (data indicating that the numbers remained relatively high), it could,” he said.
“So there’s a chance we’ll get another bump with the BA.2.”
In two of the three cities, the overall amount of virus remained relatively unchanged.
The virus’s quantity rose by 7.5 percent in Prince Albert and 5.4 percent in Saskatoon, according to the data.
North Battleford saw a 34.4 percent decrease in quantity.
According to Giesy, the numbers in Prince Albert and Saskatoon had dropped but then leveled off.
“(The amount) is roughly the same as the highest in the previous waves, but it’s a 3rd of what it was at the peak of this wave,” he said.
According to him, the overall total is still very high.
“I didn’t want people to think, ‘Oh, it’s coming down, everything’s fine,’ because Saskatoon still has a lot of infected people.”
Source: Global News