As of Sunday, November 25th the United States has their first confirmed case of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Dr Anthony Fauci announced this news during a White House briefing and said that person traveled from South Africa before travel restrictions were put into place on Wednesday 22nd without testing positive for Covid-19 but tested positive six days later after landing at LAX airport (LA). That individual is currently self-quarantining while close contacts have been negative so far; however it’s unclear if they will remain virus free or develop some sort extension symptoms too.
The person experienced mild symptoms, which are improving at this point. His 1991 vaccine had not been replaced with a booster shot and it is possible he could have contracted Omicron variant through contact with someone else who was infected by the same strain of virus in California or San Francisco last month . After being isolated for three weeks to quarantine him from spreading more infection beyond his household, doctors were able to confirm that he did contract our case because their genetic sequences matched up perfectly via genomic sequencing done here at University Of California-San Francisco.
Color Health identified the positive test result through San Francisco’s Covid-19 testing program and Omicron was discovered in under 30 hours “from collection to strain confirmation.” The World Health Organization designates it a variant of concern with an elevated global risk. Scientists first found this mutation while researching infections occurring around South Africa, where they’re now being detected across several countries.
Scientists are working to determine how transmissible the variant is, how sick it makes people and how well current vaccines work against it. Until more information is learned about the variant, the United States restricted travel from South Africa and seven other countries.
On Monday, President Joe Biden called the variant “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” saying “we’ll have to face this new threat just as we face those who have come before it.”
The latest health alert is on the Omicron variant of coronavirus, which has been linked to pneumonia and mortality rates that can be as high as 30%. This new strain poses greater risks for those with underlying conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Health officials recommend you get vaccinated against Covid-19 if possible; other preventive measures such as masks will still work in case an infection does occur.