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Another person dies of COVID-19 in Manitoba

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Another person has died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the number of deaths linked to the virus up to 20 in Manitoba.

The person who died was a man in his 70s from the Prairie Mountain Health region, the province says.

Another 39 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Manitoba on Monday.

There are 22 new known cases in the Winnipeg health region, seven cases each in the Interlake-Eastern and Northern health regions and three in the Southern Health region.

The cases found in northern Manitoba are from a First Nation and they are all close contacts, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.

There are 618 known active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, with 13 people in hospital, including seven in intensive care.

The province is advising the public of more places where people may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

A second confirmed case of COVID-19 was found at St. Maurice School in Winnipeg.

The person may have been at the school while infectious on Sept. 17 and 18.

So far, contact tracing investigators do not believe the new case is linked to the first case reported at the school.

Further exposures may have happened at:

  • Denny’s, at 4100 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg, on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sept. 20 from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • XXI Lounge, at 1011 Pembina Highway in Winnipeg, on Sept. 18 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sept. 19 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The five-day test positivity rate in Manitoba is still at 2.2 per cent.

There were 2,647 COVID-19 tests performed on Friday, 2,196 on Saturday and 1,596 on Sunday.

The total number of COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba since February is 180,750.

Monday marks the first day code orange restrictions are in effect in Winnipeg and 17 surrounding communities.

Masks must be worn in all indoor public places, and all gatherings — taking place inside or outside — have a 10-person limit.

“We know that all of these actions not only protect ourselves, they protect the people around us, people we love and our community,” he said.

“We encourage Manitobans to step up once again to reduce the transmission of this virus.”

Roussin told reporters on Monday that the 10-person cap on private gatherings is in addition to the people who live at a residence.

If six people live in a home, an additional 10 people can visit at one time, Roussin said, although he stressed a couple of times that people should try to limit their number of close contacts.

Source: – CBC.ca

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163 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, with new records for hospitalizations, positive tests – CBC.ca

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Manitoba continued breaking recently set COVID-19 records on Friday, with the death of another resident at a Winnipeg care home that has become the site of the province’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.

The death of the man in his 80s connected to Parkview Place brought Manitoba’s coronavirus-linked fatalities to 48, the province said in a news release, including 15 Parkview residents.

To date, 108 people connected to the privately owned facility — 82 residents and 26 staff — have contracted the illness, a provincial spokesperson said on Friday.

Manitoba also announced 163 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday — the new second-highest single-day increase in cases. On Thursday, 147 new cases were announced, which was at that point the province’s second-highest one-day jump.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — also reached a new high on Friday, at 6.5 per cent, breaking another record set just a day earlier. In Winnipeg, that rate is 7.2 per cent as of Friday, a provincial spokesperson said.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has pointed to the provincial figure as one of the most important indicators of how Manitoba is handling COVID-19, and said a rate of more than three per cent would likely indicate significant community spread.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate soared to a new record on Friday. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

There are now 51 people in hospital with the illness, which is also a new record. Eight of those people are in intensive care, tying the existing high set last month.

Meanwhile, officials working with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said nearly one-third of First Nations in Manitoba — 20 of 63 — have now had cases of COVID-19. To date, there have been 449 cases among First Nations people living on- and off-reserve in the province, including two who have died.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been declared at four more Winnipeg care homes, which have been elevated to red, or critical, on the province’s pandemic response system.

Those sites are the Holy Family Home, Concordia Place personal care home, the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre personal care home, and the Maples Long Term Care Home.

An outbreak at the YWCA in Thompson has now spread to 13 people linked to the facility, a provincial spokesperson said on Friday. The site has been housing roughly 25 people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic.

Manitoba set a new record for coronavirus-linked hospitalizations on Friday. Note: The province did not provide data on daily hospitalizations or people in intensive care on Oct. 3 or Oct. 21, citing technical difficulties. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

Just under 80 per cent, or 128, of the new cases announced Friday are in the Winnipeg health region, the province’s release said. 

There are another 19 new cases in the Southern Health region, eight in the Interlake-Eastern health region, seven in the Northern Health region and one in the Prairie Mountain Health region.

More possible exposures

The province also announced several new possible COVID-19 exposures on Friday. Among the latest sites are:

  • Sand Hill Casino in Carberry on Oct. 16 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
  • SOUL salon and spa in Brandon on Oct. 13 from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Oct. 14 from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Yellowquill School in Portage la Prairie from Oct. 13 to 16.
  • St. Claude School from Oct. 13 to 16.
  • Winnipeg Transit Route 71 from Sinclair to Aberdeen/Arlington on Oct. 16 at 4 p.m.
  • École Constable Edward Finney School in Winnipeg on Oct. 19 and 20.
  • Technical Vocational High School in Winnipeg on Oct. 16.
  • Winnipeg Adult Education Centre on Oct. 7, 13, 19, 20 and 21.
  • Cecil Rhodes School in Winnipeg on Oct. 13.
  • Busy Bee Day Care Centre in Winnipeg on Oct. 13.
  • École Leila North School in Winnipeg from Oct. 13 to 16.
  • St. Emile Catholic School from Oct. 13 to 16.
  • École Templeton School in Winnipeg on Oct. 13 and 14.
  • University of Winnipeg Collegiate on Oct. 13 and 15.
  • École Margaret-Underhill in Winnipeg on Oct. 8.
  • School bus linked to a Franco-Manitobain School Division site (209 Rue Kenny) on Oct. 9.
  • Maples Collegiate on Oct. 14.

More information about possible COVID-19 exposures can be accessed by visiting the province’s website and clicking on the link to each region.

One case of the illness previously announced in Manitoba has been removed from the province’s total, the release said, bringing the tally of cases identified in Manitoba to 3,935.

On Thursday, the province announced new rules coming for northern Manitoba and schools in both the Winnipeg area and the north. Those measures will take effect on Monday.

That announcement came as Manitoba announced a new record number of deaths linked to the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, and posted what was before today the highest five-day test positivity rate.

To date, 2,032 people in Manitoba are listed as recovered from COVID-19, while 1,855 cases are considered active — though Roussin has said that number is skewed because of a data entry backlog.

Another 2,642 COVID-19 tests were done in Manitoba on Thursday, bringing the total completed in the province since early February to 236,023.

Data on test numbers and the test positivity rate will be unavailable on Saturday because of scheduled system upgrades, the release said. That information is expected to be updated again on Sunday.

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Using plasma to treat COVID-19 still in question after clinical trial results – CBC.ca

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Using convalescent plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat other patients failed to prevent deaths or worsening illness in one clinical trial. But Canadian researchers continue to study its potential.

Investigators in India randomly split 464 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 between April and July into two groups. About half received transfusions of plasma with virus-fighting antibodies, and the others received standard care only.

In this week’s issue of the BMJ, researchers said that after seven days, use of convalescent plasma seemed to improve some symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue. But this did not translate into a reduction in deaths or progression to severe COVID-19 after 28 days, based on clinical exams, lab tests and check-ins by phone.

The investigators said future research could explore using plasma with high levels of “neutralizing antibodies” to see if this might work better.

Jeannie Callum, a transfusion medicine specialist and hematologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto said it’s logical that convalescent plasma would help fight viral infections, but it remains an unproven therapy. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Jeannie Callum, a transfusion medicine specialist and hematologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, commended the Indian researchers for completing the trial with nearly 40 centres under real-world conditions.

Plasma treatment aims to eliminate virus

Here’s how convalescent plasma is thought to work: The virus binds to cells in the body. People with COVID-19 who have recovered develop what are known as antibodies — proteins that white blood cells make to bind to the virus and help eliminate it. 

“We believe that these antibodies actually neutralize the virus so it can’t reinfect your cells,” said Callum.

By clearing the virus from the bloodstream and tissues, she said it’s hoped that patients will be pushed into a state of recovery. 

Callum said that while it is logical that convalescent plasma would help fight viral infections, it remains an unproven therapy.

High level of antibodies needed

Dana Devine, chief scientist at Canadian Blood Services, is part of a Canadian project called CONCOR that is also trying to determine if the straw-coloured liquid component of blood helps patients to fight off COVID-19.

Devine said not all plasma from recovered people can be used in the ” target=”_blank”>Canadian trials on adults, children and teens who are admitted to hospital or intensive care with COVID-19 at sites across the country.

“Their own antibody levels are falling because they’re recovered from the virus,” Devine said. “You retain your immunity, but you don’t have that really high level of antibodies that we need for therapeutic [purposes] for other people.”

Large, randomized clinical trials are needed to answer the question of whether convalescent plasma helps people who are infected — a question that dates back to the 1918 flu pandemic.

The U.S. has temporarily approved plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 and it has been used in some 100,000 patients in that country, despite the limited evidence on its efficacy.

WATCH | Plasma’s benefits unproven, doctor says:

The way FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn characterized the benefits of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients raises concerns about political interference, says Dr. Samir Gupta, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. 5:01

Scientists also say larger trials are needed for COVID-19 patients who have milder cases of the disease and for those who are newly infected. 

“One could well imagine that the treatment might work particularly well in those earlier in the course of the disease or who have not been able to mount a good antibody response to the virus of their own,” said Martin Landray, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Britain’s Oxford University. “But such speculation needs to be tested.”

As for other treatments, so far, only the steroid dexamethasone has been shown to cut the risk of death from COVID-19.

On July 27, Health Canada approved the use of the antiviral medication remdesivir, with conditions, to treat COVID-19 in adults and youth 12 years and older with pneumonia needing supplemental oxygen.

Remdesivir was also the first drug authorized to treat Canadian patients hospitalized with severe symptoms.

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News Releases | COVID-19 Bulletin #230 – news.gov.mb.ca

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Need More Info?

Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.

Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.

Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-794-0732.

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