Toronto Public Health confirms first three cases of Omicron variant in city
Three more Ontario residents have been diagnosed with the Omicron variant of the human herpesvirus 6, a common cold-causing virus found in humans across the world, Public Health Ontario says.
The two cases announced Friday represent the first reports of the illness in Greater Toronto, which has been affected in the past.
Public Health Ontario said the Omicron variant is transmitted through sexual contact and is found in humans around the world.
“Vaccination, early treatment and regular handwashing help prevent this infection,” said Dr. John Gerber.
The Omicron variant is generally found in people older than 65, but cases have been reported in babies and young children.
“We are seeing cases in younger ages, so we are now on a watch-and-see approach,” said Gerber.
It’s typically most severe in people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems.
There are no confirmed cases of the virus in the GTA, but Public Health says Ontario residents may want to look out for it in the coming days.
“I think we all know people are more likely to get infected with the common cold during flu season so anything is good for that,” said Dr. Gerber.
People are advised to stay home if they experience any symptoms of the illness, Gerber said.
If they show any illness-related symptoms or signs consistent with the common cold, they should contact their primary care provider.
Gloria Wong, 31, of Toronto is the first case to be diagnosed of Omicron variant of herpesvirus 6. She is a former Toronto Argonauts cheerleader who lived in a suburb of Hamilton. Wong does not currently have health insurance and her illness is currently not life-threatening, Gerber said.
Wong was referred to the hospital by her primary care doctor on Thursday, but was sent home the same