MBut while waiting for this third wave, some are questioning whether the second wave really is over, especially in populated areas of the country where transmission has remained more stable.
Experts say the definition of what constitutes a “wave” and how to determine whether it has ended is not entirely clear.
Some say the second wave is on its way to being a thing of the past, as evidenced by the downward trend in cases across the country, but others argue that the increases and decreases in cases weren’t. Standardized enough to determine if it is complete or if the next has already begun.
Caroline Cullen, a mathematician and epidemiologist at Simon Fraser University, says the word “ambiguous” is somewhat misleading. She explained that virus waves tend to recede on their own as immunity builds up within the population, which we have not yet achieved with COVID-19.
Instead, Colin added, the increases and decreases in SARS-CoV-2 transmission have been driven by our actions, such as restrictive measures that limit the virus’s ability to spread.
She said, “It’s not a wave, it’s a forest fire.” We close the guts and fire up again and achieve exponential growth. Then we reopen the cases and the cases decrease. “
Coleen, who forecasts modeling sharp increases in cases near the end of February in six of Canada’s largest provinces, believes that using the word “mysterious” makes people believe the threat passes when the disease recedes.
But until we get to herd immunity levels, she says, that won’t happen.
We are not seeing a natural slowdown. We see it falling due to the restrictions – the fire hoses we put in front of the fire, she said. Then we close the pipes and we are surprised that this wave will return. “
Canada’s chief public health official said on Friday that eight provinces have reported cases of new variants of COVID, and three of them have evidence of community transmission.
Dr Theresa Tam said that there are 429 cases of the variant first identified in the UK, 28 cases of the variant were first identified in South Africa and one case of the variant was first found in the UK.
While that appears to be a small number compared to our population, Jason Kinderachuk, a virologist at the University of Manitoba, says the increased transmissibility of these variants makes the situation even more alarming.
He added that the actual national prevalence of variants is unknown, although some jurisdictions have conducted point prevalence studies in an attempt to determine this.
Jason Kendrachuk mentions that two cases, when caught early and isolated, are not a major concern. But the risk is increasing as more and more cases emerge.
“You have that initial fire and then sparks start to fly and that leads to a bunch of small fires,” he visualized.
Dr Howard Ngo, Canada’s deputy chief public health official, explained that as there are more transmissible variables, people should be more careful to comply with health measures, including limiting contact, wearing a mask and remoteness.
This shifting transmission comes at a time when Canada appears to be “two-thirds of the way down the curve”, with total COVID-19 cases declining, Theresa Tam said.
Some jurisdictions, such as Ontario, have taken this as a reason to dispose of.
The province’s stay-at-home order will be lifted across most of the province next week, although forecasts released Thursday show a possible rapid increase in cases by the end of February.
Dr Andrew Morris, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, says the disintegration of Ontario could lead to more restrictions in the province later.
He said: “I expect our numbers over the next two weeks to be very good, but I am concerned about the numbers four or six weeks from now.”
Troy Day, a designer at Queen’s University, thinks the problem with variables is that they always lie beneath the surface. And it might not really be detected until it takes hold more strongly.
Mr. Day is concerned about the third wave in Canada because places like Britain have shown similar trajectories.
He said: “Cases are decreasing and you think that everything is fine, but what lies behind this is in fact an increase in the cases of variables that will ultimately dominate everything.”
He believes the word ambiguous is “strange terms,” adding that he has been reluctant to describe the ups and downs in the number of COVID-19 cases in this way.
“All of the waves we’ve seen are largely driven by what we’re doing to control them,” said Troy Day. The more we open and close, the more waves we have. “
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