The first confirmed case of Omicron coronavirus variant in the United States has been discovered in California.
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A new strain of the Omicron coronavirus has been found in the United States for the first time, in California.
One of the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 was in an individual who traveled from South Africa to the United States on November 22 before travel restrictions were put in place, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“That individual is quarantining themselves and their close contacts have tested negative for the coronavirus,” Fauci said.
“Mild symptoms, which are improving at this point,” Fauci said, referring to the person’s vaccination status. Public health director Dr. Grant Colfax said the person hadn’t received a booster shot.
Genomic sequencing at the University of California at San Francisco confirmed that the case was caused by the Omicron variant, and the sequence was confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Covid-19 testing” was used to identify Omicron in under 30 hours “from the time of collection to strain confirmation,” according to a statement from Color Health.
Omicron has been classified as a “variant of concern” by the WHO. World Health Organization (WHO) released a brief this week that characterized the risk as “very high.” The variant was first discovered in South Africa and has since been found in several other countries.
Researchers are trying to figure out how easily the variant can spread, how sick it makes people, and how well current vaccines can protect against it. The United States has restricted travel from South Africa and seven other countries until more information is gathered about the variant.
As President Joe Biden put it on Monday, “we’ll have to face this new threat just like we’ve faced those who have come before it,” he said of the variant.
To prevent the spread of Covid-19, health officials are urging people to get vaccinated or to get a booster injection, as needed. The Omicron variant can still be prevented by other measures, such as masks, hand washing, physical distance, and ventilation.
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