“There are signs of continued fluctuations in some Covid-19 activity indicators after a long period of gradual decline,” the agency’s online epidemiology update said on Tuesday.
“This may be an early sign of increases in activity.”
XBB subvariants of the Omicron variant accounted for 99% of Covid-19 cases that were genetically sequenced the week of July 16, a Public Health Agency of Canada said.
The “daughter” of the XBB.1 family, EG.5, is expected to start dominating in the coming weeks, said Dawn Bowdish, an immunologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
EG.5 appears to have more immunity-evading properties than other variants and is therefore likely to be more contagious, Bowdish said. An increase in COVID-19 cases will take the heaviest toll on seniors and people who are immunocompromised, Bowdish said.
Because the updated vaccines against Covid-19 expected this fall were developed to target the XBB subvariant family, they will likely “have really great efficacy at both preventing severe infection, but also at least temporarily reducing the risk of symptomatic disease,” Bowdish stated.