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Lower percentage of infected people are dying or ending up in ICU during Canada's second wave of COVID-19

Last Updated Oct 29, 2020 at 8:14 am MST

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The second wave of COVID-19 is cresting across Canada, but it’s starting differently than the outbreak this spring.

A lower percentage of infected people are dying or ending up in ICU.

Most new infections are found in younger people, who despite still facing danger, are less likely to die or end up in the ICU.

Dr. Chris Mody, head of the University of Calgary’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Disease adds doctors are better equipped to identify high-risk patients, knowing what drugs and treatments to avoid, and when and how to better use ventilators or blood thinners.

“Dexamethasone has been shown to be effective. It is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, like prednisone.”

People are also more likely to seek treatment if they feel ill sooner than they were in the spring and are taking precautions to try and keep themselves and those at high risk safe but Mody says numbers are still rising.

“We’re seeing an increasing– an accelerated–number of cases.”

The initial outbreak lead to a disproportionately high number of vulnerable people, including the elderly, becoming infected and dying at nursing homes.

Now, however, Prabhat Jha, Professor of Global Health at the University of Toronto says we have a better understanding of how the virus spreads.

“We know that this is mostly driven by close respiratory contact, so therefore droplets, so we know that if you’re in a closed, indoor place without a mask with many people, that’s the risk people are getting infections really increase.”