First confirmed case of omicron variant detected in the United States

First Confirmed Case Of Omicron Variant Detected In The United States

San Francisco, CA – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the first confirmed case of the omicron coronavirus variant in the United States, in California, according to a family source.

The California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health are confirming a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).

The patient individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. The patient had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive. All other people that came in close contact have been contacted and tested negative so far.  The test were conducted at the University of California in San Francisco.  This will be the first confirmed case of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in the United States.

Scientists are working to determine how communicable the variant is, how sick it makes people sick, and how well current vaccines against it work. Until more information on the variant is obtained, the United States restricted travel from South Africa and seven other countries.

The World Health Organization designates omicron as a “variant of concern.” In a technical report released this week, the WHO noted that the variant poses a “very high” global risk. The variant was first identified by scientists in South Africa and has since been detected in several countries.

Brazil, Canada and the United States have already reported cases in recent days, all from people from Africa.
“It is likely that other countries will soon begin to see this new variant in circulation,” World Health Organization Director Carissa Etienne said at a press conference.

The Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States Dr. Fauci reiterated that it was a “matter of time” before the first case of omicron was detected in the US, and repeated requests to Americans to get vaccinated and receive booster shots.

“That is why it is important that countries redouble their surveillance efforts, share sequences with the Genomic Surveillance Network of the Americas and report any case of omicron to the WHO,” she added.

“Speed ​​and transparency are especially crucial at this time,” she said.

Scientists are working to determine how communicable the variant is, how sick it makes people sick, and how well current vaccines against it work. Until more information on the variant is obtained, the United States restricted travel from South Africa and seven other countries.

On Monday, President Joe Biden called the variance “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” and said: “We will have to face this new threat just as we face those who have preceded it.”

Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a booster dose if they are eligible. Other measures such as masks, hand washing, physical distancing and ventilation will continue to work against the omicron variant.

The delta variant of the coronavirus remains the dominant variant globally and in the United States.

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