This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP

Canadian COVID-19 activity showing early signs it may be increasing

Overall COVID-19 activity is still low to moderate across the provinces and territories

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada suggests that COVID-19 infections may be slowly starting to rise again in Canada.

On its website, the agency says there are signs of continued fluctuations in some COVID-19 activity indicators after a long period of gradual decline.

It says this may be an early sign of increases, although the overall COVID-19 activity is still low to moderate across the provinces and territories.

McMaster University immunologist Dawn Bowdish says the XBB family, an offshoot of Omicron, is dominant in Canada right now.

That family includes the EG.5 subvariant, which she expects will start dominating in the coming weeks.

Bowdish says EG.5 appears to be more contagious than past subvariants, but there’s no sign that it causes more serious illness in otherwise healthy people.

She says the COVID-19 vaccines expected this fall are a good match to combat the virus.

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