Black fungus unlikely to be seen in Canada despite Delta variant’s presence; 27 vaccine clinics scheduled for next two weeks in EOHU

Natascha Wood
Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — In his twice-weekly media briefing on June 14th, Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis provided updates on the latest COVID-19 developments in the region, reporting that there have been six new cases of the virus added since Friday, June 11th. All six were from Prescott-Russell. As for hospitalizations, there are now two patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and one in the ICU. There are still no outbreaks ongoing within the EOHU’s jurisdiction. This is a direct result of the vaccine rollout administering two doses to high-risk individuals, including residents and staff in congregate living settings.

The EOHU received its allocated supply of vaccines this weekend, which Roumeliotis confirms was a substantial delivery. Pharmacies and primary care practitioners are also expected to receive increased supply in the coming weeks. Subsequently, the Health Unit has been able to schedule thirteen clinics this week and fourteen clinics next week, providing a total of 27,000 available appointments for vaccinations.

As of today, 139,129 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Eastern Ontario, putting the region at 84 per cent of the adult population vaccinated with at least one dose. The figure is approximately 79% for the 12+ population.

Currently, only individuals who are 70 years of age and above can move up their second appointment via the provincial booking system. However, given the increase in supply of vaccines, Roumeliotis confirmed that there have been discussions about opening up eligibility for accelerated second doses to all other age groups in the coming weeks.

Nation Valley News’ Natascha Wood asked the Doctor about the probability of Canada seeing infections of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, which has been reported in upwards of 11,000 Delta variant patients across India. Early research suggests that the damage done to the pancreas by the Delta variant triggers diabetes, allowing for the growth of black fungus, an aggressive flesh-eating pathogen that carries with it a devastating 50/50 survival rate.

Roumeliotis pointed out that mucormycosis only thrives in certain climates and living conditions, and it is unlikely that Canada will experience the Delta variant’s nightmarish passenger, especially if everyone gets their second doses.

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