More than 20 people in the U.S. have tested positive for omicron. Here’s what we know about the cases so far


Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

A COVID-19 testing facility is advertised at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 30, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

More than 20 people across 11 U.S. states have tested positive for the omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19. The patients range in age, vaccination status and travel history, but none of them have developed severe disease so far.

While some patients had recently traveled in southern Africa, where the variant was first detected, others had no travel history, indicating that community transmission is underway in the U.S.

“We absolutely have community spread in this country,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told Bloomberg Television on Friday. “We don’t know how many of them, but there’s no doubt there’s community spread.”

Scientists and public health officials are still collecting data on whether omicron is more transmissible, better evades immune protection from vaccines, and/or causes more severe disease than other variants.

Those who have tested positive in the U.S. have all shown mild to moderate symptoms and none of the patients have been hospitalized so far, according to the most current information from state public health departments. However, mild cases of Covid can progress to more severe disease over time.

Many of the people who have tested positive in the U.S. were fully vaccinated. At least two of the patients who were immunized had not received booster shots yet, but another person had received their additional dose. And in at least one case, a person who had previously recovered from Covid tested positive for omicron.

While the handful of cases in the U.S. don’t provide any definitive answers about omicron, the World Health Organization said Friday that early data suggests the virus is more contagious. And South African scientists published a study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, that found omicron carries a higher risk of reinfecting people who previously caught Covid than past variants.

Although some of the people who tested positive for omicron were fully vaccinated, the fact that they have developed mild symptoms suggests that the shots are still providing protection against severe disease from the variant, U.S. health officials said. Fauci said Friday during a White House Covid briefing that lab studies indicate booster shots increase antibody protection against a range of variants.

“There’s every reason to believe that if you get vaccinated and boosted that you would have at least some degree of cross-protection,” Fauci said, “very likely against severe disease, even against the omicron variant.”




On Thursday morning, Colorado confirmed a case of omicron in a fully vaccinated adult woman who had not received a booster shot. The woman, like the first case in California, had a recent travel history to southern Africa, where the variant was first detected. She is experiencing minor symptoms and is recovering at home, according to Colorado’s health department.

Gov. Jared Polis told residents during a press conference Thursday that health officials believe community spread is low in Colorado at the moment. Health officials have not yet detected omicron through wastewater analysis, and they have not detected a second case through genetic sequencing yet.

“So if it was prevalent, we would know — it doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent,” Polis said.


Hawaii confirmed a case in Oahu on Thursday in a person who was previously infected with Covid, was never vaccinated and had no travel history, according to the state health department. The person is showing moderate symptoms, it said.

“This is a case of community spread,” the department said in a press release.





New Jersey

New York


Source link

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.