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'Wave after wave after wave': Health officials warn high COVID-19 rates could continue


Not enough people are getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

That’s according to a Western University professor involved in the Ontario COVID-19 Waste Water Survey Program.

“What we have is a lot of people that harbour the virus for periods of time, then transmit it to someone else,” said Canada Research Chair in HIV Pathogenesis and Viral Control, Eric Arts.

He said that while there is some immunity in the population from previous infections and previous vaccine doses, it can only last for so long.

“Just not enough people are getting vaccinated, and that means that we will just have wave after wave after wave,” he explained. “And so it really won’t end. That’s the problem. It’s endemic now in the population.”

The warning comes as the latest Ontario Public Health wastewater survey results indicate the prevalence of COVID-19 in Ontario is more than twice what it was one year ago.

The wastewater signal now stands at 2.1, up from 0.98 at this time last year. Southwestern Ontario, which stretches from Grey-Bruce down to Windsor, is at 3.2 – that’s more than six times higher than it was one year ago when the signal was 0.5.

Arts said we’re very much into a COVID-19 wave.

“Now the southwest has quite exploded in terms of what we see in wastewater, reflecting the number of cases there are in the southwest. And you can see that as well in London, Ontario, where there’s a huge increase,” said Arts.

Doctors said transmission of both COVID-19 and influenza will peak over the holiday season. That’s why they said the next week will be critical for people to get vaccinated, who haven’t already, as it takes about two weeks to develop immunity.

Dr. Ninh Tran, medical officer of health for Southwestern Public Health, said both COVID-19 and influenza are on the uptick.

“Our flu activity went from low to high in the last week or so. We’ve got seven cases. And flu season, once it starts it keeps going up for about four to six weeks,” she explained. “So we’re expecting peak transmission of these two viruses around the holiday season.”

Tran said vaccination clinics can be found on the Southwestern Public Health website, while vaccination information for London and Middlesex can be on its website. Top Stories

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