Omicron variant of COVID-19 confirmed in Halton and Durham regions cases – but they are not directly linked: expert
Dr. Yohannes Hailemariam, from the University of Toronto’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology who worked on the study, said:
“We have confirmed the presence of an omicron-CoV in patients who had been hospitalized with both COVID-19 and the more severe form of the disease at the same hospital.
We believe that, as a new virus, we should still be cautious, but our results provide important additional information to better understand the disease.
We are still trying to understand if it could have been a mutation that occurred in hospital, or if it was the case of two independent cases.
We also need to take into account that the most severe and deadly form of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still a mystery to scientists worldwide.
The next step is to look at the genome of the virus in more detail in order to confirm exactly what strain of the virus it was and whether it is related to what we see in other countries.”
The researchers are still working to understand the relationship between the two strains of coronaviruses that are linked to the cases in Ontario and New York (NY).
They are also investigating the relationship between the virus and other viruses found in the patients’ throat swabs.
An omicron-CoV has also been found in patients in Italy with the same symptoms as the patients in Ontario and NY, Hailemariam said.
The University of Toronto study is the first to find the virus in samples from a person with the same symptoms as the two Ontario cases, according to Hailemariam.
Omicron-CoV has also been found in the throat swabs of patients in Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, he added.
The study was undertaken by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research based at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
“The results, even though preliminary, are important to understand how common they are and how they differ from the more severe form of coronav