Province fills in some data gaps with COVID-19 surveillance report


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If someone in your home is infected with COVID-19, you have about a 10 per cent chance of contracting it yourself.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/05/2020 (995 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If someone in your home is infected with COVID-19, you have about a 10 per cent chance of contracting it yourself.

And while 47.1 per cent of Manitobans contracted the novel coronavirus while travelling, with another 41.5 per cent getting it from close contact with someone already infected, health officials have not yet been able to figure out where another 11.1 per cent picked it up.

These are some of the statistics Manitoba Public Health has posted from the first few weeks of monitoring the intensity and geographic spread of COVID-19 as it first spread through the province, and in the days since there has been a gradual reopening.

CP This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

It’s the first in-depth look released publicly by the province, since the virus arrived 19 weeks ago in early January.

“Surveillance data collected includes syndromic, laboratory and public health investigation data about cases and contacts to detect activity in both community and in health-care settings,” a provincial spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The report goes up to May 15; at that point, there had been 289 total cases of COVID-19, with 254 people recovered from it.

At that point, 33 Manitobans had been hospitalized because of the virus, with 14 of them ending up in intensive care. Seven Manitobans had died from it.

Testing for the virus started slow, but by week 19, more than 500 people per day were being tested and the number of laboratory-confirmed cases was low compared to earlier weeks. More than 29,000 Manitobans have been tested, representing about 2.2 per cent of the province’s population.

The report says three-quarters of Manitobans (210) with COVID-19 live in Winnipeg, while 31 are in the Southern Health region, 26 in Prairie Mountain Health region, 19 in Interlake-Eastern RHA, and three in the Northern Health Region.

While people aged 65 and older, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are at the highest risk of suffering a severe outcome if they contract the virus, the age group with the highest number of virus cases is between 19 and 34 — with women representing almost two-thirds of the cases in that age group.

The report found four women contracted COVID-19 while they were pregnant, while 34 people with the virus were health-care workers. Of those, 31 health-care workers have returned to work. Twelve of the health-care workers were nurses; nine were doctors or physicians in training.

About 70 per cent of Manitobans who contracted COVID-19 reported they had a cough, followed by 47.8 per cent with a headache, 42.9 per cent with a fever, 41.2 per cent with chills, and 40.8 per cent with muscle pain. And, while many people around the world reported it as a symptom, only about 20 per cent of Manitobans said they lost their sense of taste or smell.

There have been three outbreaks of the virus in this province, with one of them in a long-term care facility.

The next in-depth report will be released next week.

— Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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