What experts say people should know

What experts say people should know

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medications, or lifestyle.

HV.1, a new subvariant of the coronavirus (COVID-19), is gaining momentum across Canada.  (Image via Getty Images)

HV.1, a new subvariant of the coronavirus (COVID-19), is gaining momentum across Canada. (Image via Getty Images) (SimpleImages via Getty Images)

A new subvariant of the coronavirus called HV.1 is spreading across Canada and may be the new dominant strain this winter, and while it’s still too early to tell, health experts indicate it won’t be a major cause for concern.

HV.1 is one of the subvariants of Omicron, and has quickly become the most widespread variant in the country, according to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) updated Nov. 14. At the beginning of September, it was HV. 1 It accounted for 4.4 percent of reported cases, until it swelled to 34.2 percent in early November.

“It’s the newest of the omicron viruses in the group, and it’s the one that seems to be winning the race now, but it’s one of the few other respiratory viruses circulating,” says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan. Yahoo Canada.

“This is kind of what we should expect to be our new normal for future cold and flu season.”

Ahead of this year’s respiratory virus season, should people be concerned about this new subtype of coronavirus? Read on to learn more about HV.1 and what Canadian experts are saying about the virus.

“We’re not going to get rid of COVID. Whatever it is, as much as I hate to say it, I don’t see COVID going away anytime soon, maybe in our lifetime.”Angela Rasmussen

What is the HV.1 variant coronavirus?

Descending from eg. 5, or Eris, HV.1 is a derivative of the XBB strain, according to Rasmussen.

“It’s still Omicron, it’s still a member of the XBB family. It’s actually not that different from a lot of the other variants that have been circulating this year.”

These viruses have a lot of mutations in their spike proteins, which they use to attach to our cells, explains Earl Brown, professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Ottawa.

“Some of these variants have mutations that make them infect better, so they enter cells better, can initiate infection better and compete better than other viruses,” he says. Yahoo Canada.

“HV.1 appears to be a kind of ‘flavor of the month’…. It has about 40 new mutations in addition to the 40 or 50 mutations that are already present in the Omicron cluster.”

There is still a lot unknown about HV.1, as it has not been studied compared to other variants. But both Brown and Rasmussen say that even if it has a higher transmission advantage compared to other subvariants, there is no indication that it would cause more severe disease.

HV.1 is a derivative of the Omicron XBB strain, and accounts for more than a third of reported COVID-19 cases in Canada.  (Image via Getty Images)

HV.1 is a derivative of the Omicron XBB strain, and accounts for more than a third of reported COVID-19 cases in Canada. (Image via Getty Images) (Uma Shankar Sharma via Getty Images)

Should people be concerned about the new HV.1 coronavirus?

While both experts agree that HV.1 should not raise concerns about causing more serious illness, they also say it is important to avoid coronavirus (COVID-19) altogether.

“People should try to avoid infection if they can,” Brown says. “They isolate themselves, wear a mask when they go out, that kind of thing.

“You really don’t want to get infected again if you can avoid it.”

People at risk for poor outcomes from COVID-19 should be the most vigilant about staying healthy. This includes older people, pregnant women, anyone with a chronic medical condition or those who are immunocompromised.

In addition to wearing masks, preferably an N95 or KN95 respirator, people should limit the time they spend in closed or crowded spaces. They should also always achieve maximum physical distancing from people outside their household.

Canadians must remain vigilant about the coronavirus as well as the flu.Angela Rasmussen

Will the updated vaccine work against HV.1?

At a minimum, according to Rasmussen, people should stay up to date on their vaccines if they want to stay protected this respiratory virus season.

“If you haven’t done so yet, go update your vaccines. You want to get an updated flu vaccine as well as an updated coronavirus vaccine,” she says, adding that the respiratory syncytial virus vaccine is fine if possible.

Since HV.1 is derived from XBB, Rasmussen says there should be some “fairly strong cross-protection” with the currently available booster shots.

“The vaccines are really effective,” she adds. “It can be the difference between two miserable days and a trip to the hospital.”

While current monovalent vaccines should work against HV.1, Rasmussen says that doesn’t mean we’re completely safe from COVID-19 in the future.

“But what’s hard to predict about this is that we don’t know if another non-XBB variant of Omicron will emerge,” she says. “If so, how will we need to update vaccines to address this?”

What should people know about the upcoming respiratory virus seasons?

If a completely new type of coronavirus other than Omicron emerges, Rasmussen says that would be a “huge setback” to where we are.

On the other hand, she explained, there may not be more mutational combinations that would make the virus better at spreading than Omicron.

Either way, she says it won’t be like going back to square one.

“It’s not like going back to the beginning of 2020 where there’s a brand new virus that we’ve never seen before,” she says. “It is likely that there will still be some protection provided by previous infection and/or vaccinations.”

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @Yahoo styleka! Follow us Twitter And Instagram.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *