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Here's where the region's at with COVID-19 cases, vaccination – TimminsToday



Nearly 1,500 children newly eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have received their first dose in the region.

The Porcupine Health Unit’s weekly epidemiology report is out and breaks down where the region is at. 

Since last week’s report, 373 more people received their second dose of the vaccine, bringing the total number of people with both doses of the vaccine to 51,817. There has been an increase of 758 people who received their first dose, bringing the total number of people who have received their first dose of the vaccine to 57,015.

With an increase of 1,507 people getting their third dose, 3,594 people have now received a booster.

In the region, 89.3 per cent of the population (12 years and up) has received the first dose of the vaccine and 84.8 per cent have both doses. According to the provincial data available as of Dec. 9, 83.3 per cent of the total eligible population five years and older have their first dose and 77.5 per cent have both doses.

Broken down by age range in the region, provincial data as of Dec. 9 reports: 

  • 5 to 11 years – 1,471 people (20.8 per cent) have their first dose. There are 7,067 eligible.
  • 12 to 17 years – 4,920 people (83.3 per cent) and 4,541 (76.9 per cent) have both doses. There are 5,900 people eligible.
  • 18 to 29 years – 10,692 people (81.1 per cent) have their first dose and 9,762 people (74.1 per cent) have both doses. There are 13,174 people eligible.
  • 30 to 39 years – 8,839 people (85.6 per cent) have their first dose and 8,159 people (79 per cent) have both doses. There are 10,325 people eligible.
  • 40 to 49 years – 8,609 people (86.9 per cent) have their first dose and 8,166 people (82.4 per cent) have both doses. There are 9,905 people eligible.
  • 50 to 59 years – 10,699 people (88.6 per cent) have their first dose and 10,358 people (85.7 per cent) have both doses. There are 12,076 people eligible.
  • 60 to 69 years – 11,433 people (96.5 per cent) have their first dose and 11,179 people (94.4 per cent) have both doses. There are 11,840 people eligible.
  • 70 to 79 years – 6,866 people (99.9 per cent) have their first dose and  6,756 people (99.2 per cent) have both doses. There are 6,809 people eligible.
  • 80 years and up – 3,784 people (99.9 per cent) have their first dose and 3,674 people (99.9 per cent) have both doses. There are 3,641 people eligible.
  • Five people with undisclosed or missing information have their first dose and two people are fully vaccinated.

The data is also broken down by community, however, it reflects the number of vaccines given and not necessarily the number of residents vaccinated living in the community. For example, someone could get one or both doses in a city they don’t live in. 

The stats by the community are:

  • Cochrane – 80.6 per cent first dose, 64.4 per cent second dose
  • Hearst – 92.9 per cent first dose, 79 per cent second dose
  • Hornepayne – 100 per cent first dose, 100 per cent second dose
  • Iroquois Falls – 79.3 per cent first dose, 59.6 per cent second dose
  • Kapuskasing – 75.1 per cent first dose, 66.8 per cent second dose
  • Matheson – 70.7 per cent first dose, 87.9 per cent second dose
  • Moosonee – 103.1 per cent first dose, 92.8 second dose
  • Smooth Rock Falls – 95.7 per cent first dose, 93.8 per cent second dose
  • Timmins – 87 per cent first dose, 81.4 per cent second dose

As of Dec. 6, there had been 1,235 cases in the region where a variant of concern has been detected. That’s an increase of 6 from last week’s report.

When the numbers were pulled for the report, a total of 2,281 confirmed cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic. In the past week, there’s been one new hospitalization, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 126 people.

Of the total confirmed cases in the region since the start of the pandemic, 51.6 per cent are male and 48.2 per cent are female. 

People 20 to 39 years make up the largest number of cases, with 804 people (35.3 per cent of all cases) being in that demographic. There have been 751 cases (32.9 per cent) in people ages 19 and under, 464 people (20.4 per cent of cases) between the ages of 40-59, 204 people (8.9 per cent) are between the ages of 60-79, and 58 people (2.5 per cent) are 80 and over.

For where people are located, 1,079 cases have been in Timmins; 288 in the area Matheson, Iroquois Falls, Cochrane and Smooth Rock Falls; 102 in the Kapuskasing area; 100 in the Hearst, Hornepayne area; 706 in the James and Hudson Bay region; and six are out of region.

Of the confirmed cases, 1,426 (62.5 per cent) were contacts of a case,  282 (12.4 per cent) were associated with an outbreak, 531 (23.3 per cent) had no known exposure, 20 (0.9 per cent) are travel-related, and the exposure of 22 (1 per cent) is under investigation.

The case fatality rate in the Porcupine Health Unit region is 1.4 per cent. The provincial rate is 1.6 per cent.

The test positivity rate for the region at the time of the report was 1.7 per cent, which is the highest of the seven health units in Northern Ontario. In Northern Ontario the positivity rate is 1.1 per cent and the provincial rate is 3.1 per cent.

This week’s full local epidemiology report is available here. The vaccine rates can be found here.

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Third COVID-19 outbreak declared this month at Cambridge Memorial Hospital –



Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) has declared its third COVID-19 outbreak of the month.

The outbreak was announced on Jan. 18 in medicine B (wing B, level 4) with two patients and one staff member testing positive.

A hospital outbreak is declared when two or more patients and/or staff test positive for a respiratory illness that was acquired in hospital within a time frame that is consistent with the epidemiology of the disease, and when there is a link between the cases.

According to CMH, safety precautions added include: enhanced surveillance by increased swabbing and testing non-infected patients and staff; enhanced cleaning, especially to high touch areas; and visits to inpatients have been paused for the entire hospital as of Jan. 8.

Virtual visits and phone connections for patients and families can be arranged.

The outbreak in medicine B could be declared over on Jan. 28 after 10 consecutive days with no new infections.

The hospital is still in outbreak in two other units, rebab and inpatient surgery.

The rehabilitation unit outbreak was declared Jan. 4.

As of Jan. 19, 12 patients and three staff have been infected, with the last positive test detected on Jan. 16, targeting the earliest possible end date at Jan. 26 if there are no new cases.

The inpatient surgery outbreak was declared Jan. 7 and at this time, seven patients and six staff have been infected. The last positive test was detected on Jan. 15, which targets the outbreak’s end date at Jan. 25 should there be no new cases.

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Those who had COVID-19 and are vaccinated have best protection, study finds – National | –



A new study in two states that compares coronavirus protection from prior infection and vaccination concludes getting the shots is still the safest way to prevent COVID-19.

The study examined infections in New York and California last summer and fall and found people who were both vaccinated and had survived a prior bout of COVID-19 had the most protection.

But unvaccinated people with a past infection were a close second. By fall, when the more contagious delta variant had taken over but boosters weren’t yet widespread, that group had a lower case rate than vaccinated people who had no past infection.

Read more:

Vaccination may lower risk of ‘long COVID’ studies say — but experts aren’t so sure

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the study Wednesday, noted several caveats to the research. And some outside experts were cautious of the findings and wary of how they might be interpreted.

“The bottom line message is that from symptomatic COVID infection you do generate some immunity,” said immunologist E. John Wherry of the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s still much safer to get your immunity from vaccination than from infection.”

Vaccination has long been urged even after a prior case of COVID-19 because both kinds of protection eventually wane — and there are too many unknowns to rely only on a past infection, especially a long-ago one, added immunologist Ali Ellebedy at Washington University in St. Louis.

“There are so many variables you cannot control that you just cannot use it as a way to say, `Oh, I’m infected then I am protected,”’ Ellebedy said.

Click to play video: 'Quebec’s COVID-19 death toll highest in the country'

Quebec’s COVID-19 death toll highest in the country

Quebec’s COVID-19 death toll highest in the country

The research does fall in line with a small cluster of studies that found unvaccinated people with a previous infection had lower risks of COVID-19 diagnosis or illness than vaccinated people who were never before infected.

The new study’s findings do make sense, said Christine Petersen, a University of Iowa epidemiologist. She said a vaccine developed against an earlier form of the coronavirus is likely to become less and less effective against newer, mutated versions.

However, experts said, there are a number of possible other factors at play, including whether the vaccine’s effectiveness simply faded over time in many people and to what extent mask wearing and other behaviors played a part in what happened.

Another thing to consider: The “staunchly unvaccinated” aren’t likely to get tested and the study only included lab-confirmed cases, Wherry said.

“It may be that we’re not picking up as many reinfections in the unvaccinated group,” he said.

Read more:

4,132 people in Ontario hospitals with COVID, 589 in intensive care

CDC officials noted other limitations. The study was done before the omicron variant took over and before many Americans received booster doses, which have been shown to dramatically amplify protection by raising levels of virus-fighting antibodies. The analysis also did not include information on the severity of past infections, or address the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.

The study authors concluded vaccination “remains the safest strategy” to prevent infections and “all eligible persons should be up to date with COVID-19 vaccination.”

The researchers looked at infections in California and New York, which together account for about 18 per cent of the U.S. population. They also looked at COVID-19 hospitalizations in California.

Overall, about 70 per cent of the adults in each state were vaccinated; another five per cent were vaccinated and had a previous infection. A little under 20 per cent weren’t vaccinated; and roughly five per cent were unvaccinated but had a past infection.

Click to play video: 'Toronto to collect COVID-19 data through wastewater'

Toronto to collect COVID-19 data through wastewater

Toronto to collect COVID-19 data through wastewater

The researchers looked at COVID-19 cases from the end of last May until mid-November, and calculated how often new infections happened in each group. As time went on, vaccine-only protection looked less and less impressive.

By early October, compared with unvaccinated people who didn’t have a prior infection, case rates were:

— Six-fold lower in California and 4.5-fold lower in New York in those who were vaccinated but not previously infected.

— 29-fold lower in California and 15-fold lower in New York in those who had been infected but never vaccinated.

— 32.5-fold lower in California and 20-fold lower in New York in those who had been infected and vaccinated.

But the difference in the rates between those last two groups was not statistically significant, the researchers found.

Hospitalization data, only from California, followed a similar pattern.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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Over 1.2 million people died from drug-resistant infections in 2019 – study



More than 1.2 million people died in 2019 from infections caused by bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics, higher than HIV/AIDS or malaria, according to a new report published on Thursday.

Global health officials have repeatedly warned about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and other microbes due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which encourages microorganisms to evolve into “superbugs”.

The new Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance report, published in The Lancet, revealed that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was directly responsible for an estimated 1.27 million deaths and associated with about 4.95 million deaths. The study analysed data from 204 countries and territories.

“These new data reveal the true scale of antimicrobial resistance worldwide… Previous estimates had predicted 10 million annual deaths from AMR by 2050, but we now know for certain that we are already far closer to that figure than we thought,” said Chris Murray, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Washington.

Last year, the World Health Organization warned that none of the 43 antibiotics in development or recently approved medicines were enough to combat antimicrobial resistance.

Cornelius Clancy, professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, said one of the ways to tackle AMR is to look at a new treatment model.

“The traditional antibiotic model that we’ve had for past number of decades since penicillin. I think it is tapped out.”

Most of 2019’s deaths were caused by drug resistance in lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia, followed by bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections.

AMR’s impact is now most severe in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, while around one in five deaths is in children aged under five years.

There was limited availability of data for some regions, particularly many low and middle-income countries, which may restrict the accuracy of the study’s estimates.

Clancy said the focus has been on COVID-19 for the past two years, but AMR is a “long-term kind of challenge”.


(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Devika Syamnath)

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