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New Omicron Subvariants, KP.2 and KP.3, Dominate in Canada: What You Need to Know

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New Omicron Subvariants, KP.2 and KP.3, Dominate in Canada What You Need to Know

(CTN News) – More than four years after COVID-19 effectively shut down the world, two new versions of the unique coronavirus have emerged as the dominant strain in Canada.

These new subvariants, KP.2 and KP.3, are classified as Omicron mutations originating from the COVID-19 virus. As of May 19, 49.2% of COVID-19 cases in Canada involved one of these strains, indicating their rapid expansion.

But how much do these subvariants affect the human body? Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto General Hospital, believes that while it is too early to say, the most likely outcome is no.

“It’s going to cause predictable symptoms, just like the other sublineages of Omicron,” Bogoch told CTVNews.ca. “Some people will have more serious infection, some will have a milder infection, and some will have no symptoms at all.”

Bogoch, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, says the virus’s impact will vary depending on each individual, with factors such as age, health, and underlying medical disorders all playing a role.

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Public Health Outlook in Canada

He also claims that the current set of vaccines continues “to do a remarkable job in reducing the risk of serious infection.” Thus, even though the most recent boosters do not account for these new varieties, they still protect the most vulnerable individuals.

However, in the first few months of the subvariant’s existence, there has been no indication that Canadians or public health experts should be concerned.

“The first Omicron wave was terrible, back in late 2021 and early 2022,” he stated. “However, subsequent Omicron waves have had fewer and fewer effects on our healthcare system and society.”

“Of course, this is not to diminish the importance of COVID. “It’s terrible, and certain populations are particularly vulnerable,” he added. “(Both federal and provincial) Public health can do a lot of good by having clear, open, transparent conversations with the general public, just discussing what the current state of COVID-19 is.”

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WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 03: People line up outside of a free COVID-19 vaccination site that opened today in the Hubbard Place apartment building on December 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. The DC Department of Health is stepping up vaccination and booster shots as more cases of the Omicron variant are being discovered in the United States. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Cases have been quite low in the spring and summer, as in the previous few COVID-19 and flu seasons before 2020, before increasing in the autumn and winter.

Bogoch expects the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, Canada’s primary authority on vaccine use, to issue guidelines in the autumn. New COVID-19 injections will be available around the same time as influenza vaccines.

While Canadians have begun to adjust to life after years of pandemic restrictions, cautious optimism is present in the post-COVID world.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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