COVID-19 update for July 27: Study finds long symptoms include sexual dysfunction, hair loss | CDC says Omicron BA.5 makes up 82 per cent of variants in U.S. | Calls from travellers, experts to ditch ArriveCan app grow – Vancouver Sun


Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the coronavirus situation in B.C. and around the world.
Here’s your update with everything you need to know on the COVID-19 situation in B.C. and around the world for July 27, 2022.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly every day this week, with developments added as they happen, so be sure to check back often.

You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Here are the latest B.C. figures given on July 21:

• Hospitalized cases: 406
• Intensive care: 30
• New cases: 1,044 over seven days ending July 16
• Total number of confirmed cases: 377,372
• Total deaths over seven days until July 9: 21 (total 3,855)

Read the full report here | Next update: July 28 at 3 p.m. (or later)

• Add sexual dysfunction and hair loss to the list of symptoms of long COVID: Study
• As kids under five start getting COVID-19 vaccines, Quebec urged to change messaging
• Omicron BA.5 makes up 82 per cent of COVID variants in U.S.: CDC
• Calls from travellers, experts grow to ditch ArriveCan app despite glitch fix
• B.C. has 406 people in hospital with COVID-19, reported 21 deaths over seven days
• U.S. President Joe Biden is ‘feeling great’ and plans to end COVID isolation by the end of the week
• Why COVID refuses to give us a break
• Quebec has more than 2,000 in hospital with COVID-19 for first time since May
• Random COVID testing is back at four Canadian airports, including YVR
• Saskatchewan to begin vaccinating kids under 5 against COVID-19

Add loss of hair and libido to the symptoms associated with long COVID, U.K. researchers warn.
They compared nearly half a million people who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infections before the middle of April 2021, without having been hospitalized, with nearly two million uninfected people of similar age, gender and health status.
Overall, 62 persistent symptoms were significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection after 12 weeks, the researchers reported on Monday in Nature Medicine.
Among the most common were shortness of breath, smell distortions, chest pain and fever, but the study also identified memory problems, inability to perform familiar movements or commands, bowel incontinence, erectile dysfunction, hallucinations, and limb swelling as being more common in people with long COVID.

Read the full story here.
— Reuters
MONTREAL — A pediatrician at a children’s hospital in Montreal said Monday the government needs to do more to promote the benefits of vaccinating young children against COVID-19.
As Quebec’s vaccination campaign opened to kids aged six months to five years, Dr. Olivier Drouin said the message from health officials is ambiguous and leaves parents unsure what to do.
“Parents have been told since the beginning of the pandemic that children don’t get sick,” Drouin, a doctor at Montreal’s CHU Sainte-Justine, said in an interview. “So, why would they need to vaccinate them?”
The government’s message, he said, has been focused too much on reducing the risk of infection in children. That’s a mistake, he said. “The message needs to switch from lowering the risk of infection to lowering the severity of it.”
Read the full story here.
—The Canadian Press
The BA.5 subvariant of Omicron was estimated to make up 81.9% of the circulating coronavirus variants in the United States for the week ended July 23, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.
This was higher than the 75.9% prevalence estimated in the preceding week.
BA.5 has been driving a surge of new infections globally and has shown to be particularly good at evading the immune protection afforded either by vaccination or prior infection.
Omicron subvariant BA.4 was estimated to make up 12.9% of the circulating variants in the United States, the data showed.
Read the full story here.
— Reuters
Hospital admissions for COVID-19 in Australia have reached a new high for a second straight day, data showed on Tuesday, while the daily death toll rose to its second-highest as an outbreak fueled by a coronavirus sub-variant sweeps the country.
Nearly 5,600 patients infected with COVID are in hospital while 100 new deaths were reported, just short of a record 102 deaths on Saturday. Nearly 330,000 infections have been reported over the last seven days but authorities say the real numbers could be double that.
“It’s time to come together again and fight: get vaccinated, use a mask in crowds and indoors, and stay home if you’re sick,” said the premier of hard-hit Queensland state, Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Calls to scrap the ArriveCan app continue from experts in medicine and technology as well as travellers, even after the federal government fixed a technical glitch that instructed some users to quarantine unnecessarily..
While the defect was fixed last Wednesday, social media platforms are replete with posts from passengers complaining the app as a whole is not user-friendly.
“We’re so short-staffed and spending so much time dealing with this app that we really don’t have time to do our actual jobs anymore,” Mark Weber, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, said in an interview.
Read the full story here.
— The Canadian Press
Read the full story here.
— Reuters
Two and a half years into the COVID mess, yet another immunity-dodging viral variant is driving a seventh wave of infections — even though half the country’s population, more than 17 million people, were infected with Omicron between December and May, and despite more than 80 per cent of the population having received at least two doses of a vaccine.
Read the full story here.
—Sharon Kirkey, National Post
The number of British Columbians in hospital with COVID-19 decreased slightly this week, even as new transmissions continue to inch upwards during B.C.’s third Omicron wave.
On Thursday, 406 people were in hospital with the virus, a slight drop from 426 last Thursday. Out of these, 30 were in critical care.
According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s most recent weekly COVID-19 report, released Thursday, there were 1,044 new cases recorded across the province from July 10 to 16, up from 973 the previous week.
This figure has been on an upwards swing since mid-June when new cases were in the mid-600s. This number also does not reflect the true number of COVID-19 cases in the B.C. due to limited PCR testing availability and because results of at-home rapid test kits are not included in the official count.
Read the full story here.
— Cheryl Chan
Read the full story here.
—The Canadian Press
MASKS: Masks are not required in public indoor settings though individual businesses and event organizers can choose to require them.
Masks are also encouraged but not required on board public transit and B.C. Ferries, though they are still required in federally regulated travel spaces such as trains, airports and airplanes, and in health care settings.
GATHERINGS AND EVENTS: There are currently no restrictions on gatherings and events such as personal gatherings, weddings, funerals, worship services, exercise and fitness activities, and swimming pools.There are also no restrictions or capacity limits on restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs; and no restrictions on sport activities.
CARE HOMES: There are no capacity restrictions on visitors to long-term care and seniors’ assisted living facilities, however, visitors must show proof of vaccination before visiting. Exemptions are available for children under the age of 12, those with a medical exemption, and visitors attending for compassionate visits related to end-of-life.
Visitors to seniors’ homes are also required to take a rapid antigen test before visiting the facility or be tested on arrival. Exemptions to testing are available for those attending for compassionate visits or end-of-life care.
Everyone who is living in B.C. and eligible for a vaccine can receive one by following these steps:
• Get registered online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated to book an appointment in your community.
• Or, if you prefer, you can get registered and then visit a drop-in clinic in your health authority.
• The system will alert you when it is time to go for your second dose.
• The same system will also alert you when it is time for your booster dose.
TESTING CENTRES: B.C.’s COVID-19 test collection centres are currently only testing those with symptoms who are hospitalized, pregnant, considered high risk or live/work with those who are high risk. You can find a testing centre using the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s testing centre map.
If you have mild symptoms, you do not need a test and should stay home until your fever is gone. Those without symptoms do not need a test.
TAKE-HOME RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS: Eligible British Columbians over the age of 18 with a personal health number can visit a pharmacy to receive a free take-home test kit containing five COVID-19 rapid antigen tests.
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