Developing a rash could be a symptom of Omicron, experts have claimed.
Alongside a runny nose, headache, fatigue and sneezing, sufferers are also reporting two types of rash associated with the virus.
Since the Omicron outbreak first started, experts have been reporting a whole host of symptoms, different to the standard covid symptoms which are a new, continuous cough; a fever and loss or change in taste and/or smell.
According to the ZOE COVID Study, the top five symptoms of Omicron are: runny nose, headache, fatigue (mild or severe), sneezing and a sore throat.
However, some people suffering from Omicron are also reporting two types of rash – one, reported to be similar to prickly heat, appears to be itchy and bumpy, while the other is reported to be similar to hives.
One person wrote on Twitter: “So currently have the COVID rash. Definitely an under-reported symptom.”
While another said: “Anyone who has had covid did you get rashes anywhere on your body?”
And a third added: “All my friends having 0 symptoms when having covid.
Me: Headache, body pain, chest pain, cough, fever, dizzy, rash, fainting, fatigue, chills, runny nose.”
Speaking to Tyla, a representative for the ZOE COVID Study explained that rashes are symptoms of covid, and have been for all previous variants as well as Omicron.
Dr Gareth Nye added: “Rashes are quite common when the body fights an infection so it’s not surprising [people are experiencing them].
“Hives is commonly caused by viral infections as your body tries to get on top of it, these rashes are quite itchy with red spots with a white middle. It’s likely due to the chemicals the immune system sends out aggravating the under layers of skin.
“Younger people were experiencing itchy skin issues as far back as June 2020 so pre-Omicron. It’s important to always check your rash for meningitis and call NHS 111 if you are unsure.”
HPHA declares COVID-19 outbreak over at local hospital – BlackburnNews.com
HPHA declares COVID-19 outbreak over at local hospital
January 19, 2022 2:19pm
The Huron-Perth Healthcare Alliance says a COVID-19 outbreak at the Stratford General Hospital is now over.
In a release, the HPHA says the outbreak had been declared on the Inpatient Surgery Unit on January 7th after two cases of the virus were identified. Three patients got the virus during the outbreak, alongside eight HPHA staff members. With no further cases detected, the HPHA says “the Inpatient Surgery Unit has been reopened to admissions and transfers. Family and Caregiver Presence on the Unit has also been restored.”
Full guidelines can be found on the HPHA website at http://www.hpha.ca.
“Upon declaring the outbreak, immediate precautions were implemented, including prevalence testing in team members and patients,” says Andrew Williams, President & CEO of the HPHA. “While this outbreak is over, we can’t stress enough the importance of getting your COVID-19 vaccine and continuing to follow public health measures.”
Vaccination protects against COVID-19 hospitalization significantly more than prior infection, according to CDC study – CTV News
Both vaccination and prior infection help protect against new COVID-19 infections, but vaccination protects against hospitalization significantly more than natural immunity from prior infection alone, according to a study published Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers analyzed the risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization among four groups of individuals: vaccinated with and without prior infection and unvaccinated with and without prior infection. The study case data from about 1.1 million cases in California and New York between the end of May and mid-November 2021. Hospitalization data was available from California only.
Overall, COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates were highest among unvaccinated people who did not have a previous diagnosis.
At first, those with a prior infection had higher case rates than those who were vaccinated with no history of prior infection. As the Delta variant became predominant in the U.S. in later months, this shifted and people who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than those who were vaccinated alone, according to the study.
“Experts first looked at previous infections confirmed with laboratory test by the spring of 2021, when the Alpha variant was predominant across the country. Before the Delta variant, COVID-19 vaccination resulted in better protection against a subsequent infection than surviving a previous infection. When looking at the summer and the fall of 2021, when Delta became the dominant in this country, however, surviving a previous infection now provided greater protection against subsequent infection than vaccination,” Dr. Benjamin Silk, lead for CDC’s surveillance and analytics on the Epi-Task Force, said on a call with media Wednesday.
However, this shift coincides with a time of waning vaccine immunity in many people. The study did not factor the time from vaccination — and potential waning immunity — into the analysis. The study also does not capture the effect booster doses may have and was conducted before the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Throughout the period of the study, risk of COVID-19 hospitalization was significantly higher among unvaccinated people with no previous COVID-19 diagnosis than any other group.
“Together, the totality of the evidence suggests really that both vaccination and having survived COVID each provide protection against subsequent reinfection, infection and hospitalization,” said Dr. Eli Rosenberg, New York State Deputy Director for Science. “Having COVID the first time carries with it significant risks, and becoming vaccinated and staying up-to-date with boosters really is the only safe choice for preventing COVID infection and severe disease.”
Experts also noted that characteristics of variants change, including how well they effect immunity from prior infections.
The CDC said in a statement it will publish additional data on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters against the dominant Omicron variant later this week.
Has Canada reached its vaccine ceiling? – TVO
Vivian Harbers is a project manager with the COVID-19 Canadian Social Impacts Research Study at the University of Guelph; Eric B. Kennedy is an assistant professor in Disaster and Emergency Management at York University; Jean-François Daoust is an assistant professor at the University of Edinburgh.
As COVID-19 case counts continue to rise across Canada, it is clear that we’re far from out of the woods with this pandemic. While much is still unknown about the Omicron variant, it seems very likely that existing vaccines will offer protection against severe cases of COVID-19, and Canada is rapidly administering booster shots in an effort to help to bolster immunity.
While vaccination coverage against COVID-19 is relatively high (76.49 per cent of the total population is fully vaccinated at the time of writing), there remains a substantial group of Canadians who are either unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated.
At this point in the pandemic (more than six months after most Canadian adults became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine), should we declare this level of vaccination coverage as the “vaccine ceiling?” Our research suggests the answer is no.
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As defined by the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts, the term “vaccine hesitancy” is used to describe “a delay or refusal of vaccination, despite availability of vaccination services.” The range of reasons some Canadians remain unvaccinated is wide, including (but not limited to) concerns about “personal freedom” and health and the belief that COVID-19 is not as serious a health threat as it’s made out to be.
Much of the existing research on vaccine hesitancy has focused on identifying personal or demographic factors associated with vaccine hesitancy, such as age, gender, and socio-economic status. Our research investigated the role of timing in vaccine uptake.
Given the unique nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its vaccines, not all Canadians gained access to a vaccine at the same time — and many around the world are still waiting for access. As a result, people had to start thinking about their vaccine decisions in hypothetical or future contexts. Because of this, we sought to understand how thinking about COVID-19 vaccine availability along different timelines might influence a person’s vaccine decisions.
In December 2020 (just prior to broad vaccine availability in Canada), we asked Canadian survey respondents about their impending vaccine decisions. Each participant was presented with one variation of the question:
“If a coronavirus vaccine was available to you (today, or in one month, or in six months, or in one year), would you get vaccinated, or not?”
In analyzing results from this experiment, we found that the proportion of most enthusiastic participants (those who selected “Yes, as soon as possible” as a response) increased substantially as the proposed date of vaccine availability became more distant.
Even more interesting was our finding that the proportion of hesitant people decreased as the proposed date of vaccination moved further into the future. The proportion who responded that they would “Wait some time” before vaccination and the proportion who responded, “No, I would not get a coronavirus vaccine” both decreased as vaccine availability became more distant in time.
This has important implications for Canadian policy-makers. While the swift uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine might be the ideal scenario for squashing case counts, these findings suggest that those who are hesitant aren’t necessarily going to refuse the vaccine altogether.
This finding may also be useful for countries that are much further behind on mass vaccination efforts, as it suggests a delayed vaccine rollout might encounter less hesitancy and have faster uptake.
We also asked open-ended questions about what Canadians would wait for, before getting the vaccine. What we found is that many Canadians who said they were waiting for “some time to pass” were couching their true concerns (for example, waiting for a certain number of other people to be successfully vaccinated first) within the more broad category of “timing.”
In some cases, these concerns might even be addressed with empathetic listening, by input from trusted experts, or from evidence that speaks to the values and beliefs of those who have questions.
As recent Omicron surges remind us, vaccination alone is not a silver bullet in the fight against COVID-19. However, it remains an important tool in mitigating the spread and severity of the disease, and the United Nations Foundation still positions vaccine equity as our best exit strategy for the pandemic.
It seems nearly certain that there will remain a group of Canadians who choose to never receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, our findings suggest that it is unwise to assume that all Canadians who have not yet been vaccinated will never do so. They may just be waiting.
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