Two more mink have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus from a Fraser Valley, British Columbia, farm already under quarantine from positive tests in May. In this instance, four mink had escaped their cages and were captured on the farm.
As a result of the new infections, a moratorium has been placed on any new mink farms in B.C., with a cap on existing mink farms at current numbers.
Three B.C. mink farms have had animals test positive since December 2020. “All three remain under quarantine, with no mink being moved to or from the properties.”
The Canadian biologist Derrick Rossi (Toronto, 1966) is one of the founders of Moderna , one of the pharmaceutical companies that has managed to develop one of the coronavirus vaccines.
“We have no evidence in any way, but this virus is so different from bats that it seems unlikely to me that it was a natural leap.” It is a fact that a laboratory in Wuhan worked with him and I am convinced that he came out of there, that he escaped them. I don’t think it was deliberate, they were just studying it and there was an accident. China denies it, of course, but it is the explanation that I see as the most logical.
Through routine scanning of variation in Delta, a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA, now designated AY.2.
As of 16 June 2021, 161 genomes of Delta-AY.1 have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1), India (8), Japan (15), Nepal (3), Poland (9), Portugal (22), Russia (1), Switzerland (18), Turkey (1), USA (83).
There are currently 38 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (36 confirmed sequencing and 2 probable genotyping). Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England. Delta-AY.2 has not been detected in England.
UK Variants of Concern Technical Briefing 15 (PDF download)
According to Bani Jolly of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, the phylogeny of Delta has two separate clades. While AY.1 is found in a few countries including the UK, India and Nepal, the other clade (AY.2), is largely from the sequences from California (USA).
“The split between the two clades seems to be based on two spike mutations — A222V and T95I. While all sequences in the California cluster share spike A222V, all sequences in the larger international cluster share spike T95I,” Jolly tweeted.
Stating that AY.1 has arisen independently a number of times and could be more prevalent than observed in countries with limited genomic surveillance, she tweeted that given that Delta is a variant of concern, it is important to take note of any sub-lineages that may emerge.
An outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary has seen 16 patients and six health-care workers tested positive for the variant. Six of the patients and five of the health-care workers had received two doses of the vaccine, while seven patients and one health-care worker had a single dose. The total vaccine breakthrough rate is 81.82%. All of those infected were vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine.
Of the 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 (mountaineers) variant, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS).
“Through routine scanning of variation in Delta a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA. There is limited epidemiological information available at present.
As of 7 June 2021, 63 genomes of Delta with K417N have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1) Germany (1), Russia (1), Nepal (2), Switzerland (4), India (6), Poland (9), Portugal (12), Japan (13), USA (14).
There are currently 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (35 confirmed sequencing and 1 probable genotyping) plus an additional 10 sequences which include some cases in other UK nations and some genomes for which case data is being sought. The first 5 cases were sequenced on 26 April 2021 and were contacts of travellers to Nepal and Turkey. All these cases were detected in the West Midlands. Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England (Table 21, Figure 26). The majority of cases are in younger individuals, with 2 cases of age 60 or over (Figure 27). Out of the 36 cases, there were 11 travel associated cases (6 travellers and 5 cases amongst contacts of travellers). Twelve cases have no history of travel or contact with travellers. Countries of travel included red-list countries (Nepal and Turkey), amber-list countries (Malaysia) and green-list countries (Singapore).
Of the 36 cases, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), when linked on NHS number. Of these, 18 cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated, 2 cases in people who had received their first dose within 21 days of specimen date, 5 cases in people who had received their first dose more than 21 days after specimen date. There was a total of 2 cases where there were more than 14 days between the second dose of vaccine and a positive specimen. No deaths have been recorded amongst the 36 cases.”
PHE download – SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England – Technical briefing 15 (PDF)
A mink farm in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada, has been placed under quarantine after a mink tested positive for COVID-19. Two other mink at the farm are suspected to have the virus as well and confirmation tests are pending. The positive case was detected during a provincial surveillance program in which 20 animals were tested for the virus.
The farm has approximately 25,000 mink. All other animals appear healthy and are not displaying symptoms of the virus, according to the statement.
This is the third B.C. mink farm where COVID-19 has been detected. Analysis of the previous two farms show the mink were infected with the identical or nearly identical strain of virus found in humans. It is believed the virus spread from people to the animals and not the other way around.
British Columbia CDC: “Researchers are monitoring for specific sublineages of this variant, including B.1.617.1, 1.617.2, B.1.617.3 and B.1.617.4” (is this a typo?)
We analyzed all animal-derived (977), all Canadian (19,529) and US (173,277) SARS-CoV-2 sequences deposited in GISAID from December 2019 to March 12, 2021, and identified 2 dominant novel variants, the N501T-G142D variant and N501T-G142D-F486L variant, in the US mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These variants were not found in mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 spike protein gene sequences from other countries. The Y453F mutation was not identified in the US and Canadian mink-derive sequences.
Canada announced on Tuesday its first report of a rare blood clot in a person who had received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Quebec health ministry said the female patient, whose age was not revealed, is recovering at home.
“Reports of blood clots with low platelets in people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are very rare and the report of this case shows that Canada’s vaccine safety monitoring system works,” PHAC said in a statement.
1/2 To date, ≥ 24,995 #VariantsOfConcern cases (↑8,131 since Apr.7), including 23,611 (↑8,112) B.1.1.7, 1,039 (↑16) P.1 & 345 (↑3) B.1.351 variants have been reported, with numbers highest in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, & Quebec. https://t.co/IHyBa1lpr8
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) April 9, 2021
“We are currently investigating a significant #COVID19AB outbreak in Alberta involving P.1 variants of concern (the variant that originated in Brazil), linked to a returning traveller.”
We are currently investigating a significant #COVID19AB outbreak in Alberta involving P.1 variants of concern (the variant that originated in Brazil), linked to a returning traveller. (1/4)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) April 3, 2021
I also want to update Albertans on the #COVID19AB outbreak involving P.1 variants of concern. At this time, the outbreak appears linked to a large employer with multiple sites across Western Canada. (4/10)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) April 5, 2021
The coronavirus variant that forced the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort to close is spreading rapidly in B.C. and sending more young people to hospital, raising concern about health officials’ ability to control the outbreak that is the largest known spread outside Brazil.
A laboratory at St. Paul’s Hospital that screens positive samples from most of the Vancouver Coastal region – which includes Whistler – for variants using a new rapid-testing technology, had confirmed 480 cases of the P.1 variant by Wednesday night (31st March 2021) – already more than what has been reported by any other country except for Brazil.
This study suggests that younger children are more likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to older children, and the highest odds of transmission was observed for children aged 0-3 years. Differential infectivity of pediatric age groups has implications for infection prevention controls within households, as well as schools/childcare, to minimize risk of household secondary transmission.
New variants of concern (VOCs) now account for 67% of all Ontario SARS-CoV-2 infections. Compared with early variants of SARS-CoV-2, VOCs are associated with a 63% increased risk of hospitalization, a 103% increased risk of intensive care unit (ICU) admission and a 56% increased risk of death due to COVID-19.
VOCs are having a substantial impact on Ontario’s healthcare system. On March 28, 2021, the daily number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections in Ontario reached the daily number of cases observed near the height of the second wave, at the start of the province-wide lockdown, on December 26, 2020.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is now 21% higher than at the start of the province-wide lockdown, while ICU occupancy is 28% higher (Figure 1). The percentage of COVID-19 patients in ICUs who are younger than 60 years is about 50% higher now than it was prior to the start of the province-wide lockdown