Manitoba COVID-19 study finds who’s most vulnerable in province

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A new study out of the University of Manitoba is diving deeper into COVID-19 and those who are the most vulnerable. Brittany Greenslade takes a look at the first Manitoba-based research on COVID risk factors. – Oct 13, 2021

It was a deep dive into how COVID-19 is moving through our province.

And University of Manitoba researchers say the outcome wasn’t surprising.

Those who live in Northern Manitoba, have lower income or live in long-term care facilities are the most at risk of contracting the virus.

Dr. Christiaan Righolt is the lead author of the study and a researcher with the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

“We do know that the less ability you have to isolate yourself when you have COVID symptoms, or the less ability you have to protect yourself from your job situation or how much space you have in your house, that does affect your risk,” Righolt said.

“So in those terms its not surprising, but it is a stark reminder of who is most vulnerable.”

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The population-based study used data from all lab-confirmed infections in Manitoba from March 2020 to May 2021.

“We looked at basic demographics like age and gender, but also where people resided and whether they were living in high-income or low-income areas, what region of Manitoba and also identified long-term care facilities,” Righolt said.

It also found young children are more likely to be asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

The findings are consistent with similar U.S. studies.

But the data was largely collected before vaccines were widely available and prior to the now dominant Delta variant spreading.

Researchers say they now plan to study the impact of the vaccine and its effectiveness among different groups of people.

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