Most of 11 Omicron COVID cases were vaccinated

Royal Alberta Museum chief medical officer Dr Bruce Harcourt says that of the 11 cases identified in July, five were vaccinated for norovirus before exposure to the bacteria that causes Norovirus

Most of 11 Omicron COVID cases were vaccinated

The Royal Alberta Museum is investigating 11 cases of severe gastrointestinal illness recently, but chief medical officer Dr Bruce Harcourt says a majority of those symptoms were caused by a small number of individuals who had received the HPV vaccine.

“That point has been made to the current [public health] authorities and most of the cases, if not all of them, were vaccinated against human papillomavirus,” Harcourt said at a press conference on Monday.

Vaccines for HPV are the most commonly used preventative shots for cervical cancer and other types of genital disease, although numerous studies have not shown any connection between the two.

Harcourt said that of the 11 cases identified in July, five were vaccinated for norovirus before exposure to the bacteria that causes Norovirus.

“As is typically the case, there are several cases that are under investigation and we are following up the well-being of those individuals,” he said.

Harcourt said that of the 11 patients, four were still receiving intravenous fluids because they were “incapacitated” while being treated for vomiting and diarrhea and were unable to eat or drink.

The afflicted patients range in age from “very young” to “very old”, said Harcourt.

Vaccination is “absolutely” the best way to protect against Norovirus, according to Dr Chris Lewandowski, associate medical officer of health for the City of Edmonton.

He added that the city’s high rate of norovirus exposure – 62% in a one-week period this summer – “calls attention to the increasing concerns about how this year is coming in terms of contamination of food and water with pathogens”.

Norovirus is an intestinal illness that can lead to “severe vomiting and diarrhea”.

On Friday, the World Health Organisation’s chief disease detective, Dr Seth Berkley, made a report on the spreading epidemic on behalf of the United Nations specialised agency in Geneva, which calls the illness “a worldwide public health emergency”.

It is most commonly associated with food and water contamination.

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