U of S doctor explains what constitutes an outbreak being declared

The Head of Clinical Microbiology from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine says declaring a viral outbreak isn’t necessarily determined by the number of cases. Sometimes it’s the number of contacts in a group that person might have had.

Dr. Joseph Blondeau says that’s why an outbreak can be declared in Saskatoon, like it was on Wednesday, when there was only one confirmed and one presumptive case.
It became an outbreak situation when it was learned both had been at separate large gatherings earlier this month.

That means there would be a larger group of people that could have been exposed, and that constitutes an outbreak.
Dr. Blondeau believes Saskatchewan has done a good job of flattening the curve, but emphasizes that we still need to follow all of the safety guidelines.

Although there are 124 vaccines being investigated around the world for this virus, he expects it will be a year or more before any would be at the stage of releasing to the public.

Blondeau says COVID-19 has shown us there is a willingness for groups to work together to come up with a solution for the betterment of mankind.

Some of the research is by pharmaceutical companies where finding a vaccine is more of a race, but for others, there has been more international collaboration.

He has seen more goodwill as compared to other initiatives.
At VIDO-Intervac on campus, Blondeau says the testing results on ferrets have been promising, but there is still a long way to go.


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