At least 27 states in the United States have detected the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus since it was first identified on November 24 by scientists in South Africa.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, in English) has on its online page a list of places that have detected positive omicron infections, while experts continue to evaluate the characteristics of the new threat in the pandemic.
The first case of omicron was detected on December 1 in California, in a traveler who returned to the country from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive on November 29. The second contagion was identified a day later in a Minnesota state resident who traveled to New York.RELATED
What states have detected the new variant?
ArizonaNorth CarolinaCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIllinoisIowaLuisianaMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMisisipiMissouriNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkOhioPennsylvaniaTexasUtahVirginiaWashingtonWisconsin
The CDC update includes the states with infections of the new variant identified as of December 11.
At the moment, many characteristics of the new variant are unknown, including if it is more contagious, if it can violate the protection of authorized vaccines and if it increases the risk of severe disease or death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it can take several weeks to learn more about this “variant of concern.”
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According to data shared by the CDC, omicron was first detected in samples collected on November 11 in Botswana, and on November 14 in South Africa.
“Despite the great attention to omicron, delta continues to be the main variant of circulation in the United States,” noted the CDC. In passing, they recalled that “we have the tools to fight omicron.”
“Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19,” they stated. “Currently, scientists are investigating the new variant, including how protected fully vaccinated people will be against infection, hospitalization and death.”
While this research is taking place, the CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, they urge people 18 and older to receive a booster dose at least two months after the initial Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or six months after completing the two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC also authorized the booster dose of Pfizer’s vaccine for all 16- and 17-year-olds.
The omicron variant has been identified in at least 57 countries, according to the WHO. Some are: Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Israel, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic and Thailand.