Report gives detailed look at COVID-19 spread in Manitoba

The source of infection for over 11 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba remains unknown and nearly all hospitalized individuals had pre-existing chronic conditions, the latest provincial COVID-19 surveillance report shows.

11% of infection sources unknown; 97% of hospitalized had pre-existing chronic conditions

In 11 per cent of COVID-19 cases, Manitoba health-care workers could not identify how the patient acquired the virus. (Shared Health/Province of Manitoba)

A new weekly COVID-19 surveillance report published on Tuesday by the province's epidemiology team provides new insight into how the virus has spread to date in Manitoba.

Here are the key takeaways from the report:

Unknown source in 11% of cases

The report shows that travel-related infections are still the most common exposure type, representing 47 per cent of cases.

Transmission through close contact to a person known to have been infected accounts for 42 per cent of cases.

In 11 per cent of cases, the province could not identify how the person acquired the virus.

In cases where the virus was acquired through close contact, the common environment was in the household. In 10 per cent of situations where people had household contact with an infected person, they themselves acquired the virus, the report says.

Nurses, aides most infected among health-care workers

Of the 289 cases reported at the time of the report, 34 patients (12 per cent) were health-care workers.

Nurses accounted for 12 cases, while health-care aides made up eight cases. Physicians and residents accounted for nine cases, with another five patients having non-specified roles in the hospital.

While 56 per cent of health-care worker infections were acquired through close contact with an infected individual, a quarter of cases were related to travel, and 21 per cent of transmissions remain undetermined.

Underlying illness in almost all hospitalizations

Among the individuals who required hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection, 97 per cent were found to have had a pre-existing chronic health condition.

By far the most common underlying illness to date is hypertension (68 per cent), followed by musculoskeletal ailments (45 per cent). Diabetes (43 per cent) and asthma (35 per cent) are listed as frequent underlying illnesses as well.

Even among cases that came onto the province's radar but did not require hospitalization, nearly 50 per cent showed signs of some form of chronic condition.

In four cases, the infected person was a pregnant woman, the report says.

Cough and headache most common symptoms

The most common symptom reported is coughing, in about seven in 10 infections. Health officials have repeatedly stated that a dry cough is among the most telltale signs.

Headaches (48 per cent) and fevers (42 per cent) were the next two most common symptoms among Manitoba cases.

This chart illustrates the symptoms reported by those with COVID-19 in Manitoba. (CBC)


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