By Anastasia Avvakumova
British Columbia government’s news channels reported a total of 29 cases in the Vancouver Island Health Authority by the afternoon of Thursday, July 15. Of these, one is known to be in critical care and two are hospitalized; others are recovering in self-isolation.
In an effort to track the COVID-19 variants of concern (VoC), which are responsible for a large proportion of new infections across the province, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) stated that it has new sequencing analysis in place.
“B.C. has transitioned to whole-genome sequencing on all positive cases to provide gold-standard analysis to detect variants of concern and fingerprint details to support outbreak responses," the BCCDC stated.
Approximately 14 per cent of the positive cases in BC are of the Delta variant, which originated in India and has become a predominant and fast-spreading variant of the virus in several countries, including the UK. But the Alpha (UK) and Gamma (Brazil) variants continue to account for the largest numbers of cases in BC, at 25 per cent and 40 per cent of sequenced positive specimens, respectively.
The government is also monitoring what is called “vaccine breakthrough cases.” These are cases of COVID-19 infection in people who have been fully vaccinated. Some of these individuals may also have asymptomatic infections. Yet the above-mentioned Delta variant has been shown to cause cold-like symptoms such as a headache and runny nose even in some individuals who have received both doses of the vaccine. Research is ongoing.
As of July 15, almost 80 per cent of eligible BC residents over 12 had received a first dose of the vaccine.
“79.4% (3,681,088 3.7 mill) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 48.6% (2,253,818) 2.3 mill received their second dose," the BCCDC stated.
The numbers for immunizations in eligible British Columbia adults is 80.5 per cent and 51.9 per cent for their first and second dose, respectively.
In a summary released on July 2, the BCCDC was reporting optimistically that, “case rates are low and continue to decline in all health authorities, now approaching levels last observed in August 2020; test positivity continues to decline, ~1% provincially.”
Cumulative cases for Greater Campbell River for the period of January 2020 to June 2021 were officially reported as 199; the three new infections added in July so far put the total-to-date at 202. Within the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the total-to-date of all reported cases of COVID-19 is 5,184 with a recovery rate of 98.8 per cent.