omicron first case

December 1, 2021
omicron first case

The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive.

The CDC announcing the first confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant “omicron” in the U.S.
  • The first U.S. case was identified in San Francisco, California.
  • A recent traveler to South Africa returned home before Thanksgiving on Nov. 22 (4 days before the World Health Organization labeled "Omicron" a variant of concern).
  • Why This Matters: The first case of "Omicron" in America now leads to questions such as: "How widespread is this variant?" "Will it ignite more severe symptoms, infections or outcomes?" "Is it more contagious than other variants?"
  • An important reminder: Viruses can mutate to become more dangerous or deadly; they can also mutate to become less dangerous or deadly.

FULL STATEMENT FROM THE CDC:

First confirmed case of Omicron variant detected in the United States

The California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health have confirmed that a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive. All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative.

Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and the sequence was confirmed at CDC as being consistent with the Omicron variant. This will be the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant detected in the United States. 

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and named it Omicron and on November 30, 2021, the United States also classified it as a Variant of Concern. CDC has been actively monitoring and preparing for this variant, and we will continue to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more. Despite the detection of Omicron, Delta remains the predominant strain in the United States.

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and general prevention strategies needed to protect against COVID-19. Everyone 5 and older should get vaccinated and boosters are recommended for everyone 18 years and older.

For more information on the Omicron variant visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/index.html.

by Jenna Lee,

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