First U.S. case of omicron variant detected in California

California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health confirmed that an individual in California had recently contracted COVID-19. The Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) was responsible. The patient was a South African traveler who had returned to California on November 22, 2021. The individual was fully vaccinated with mild symptoms that are improving and self-quarantining. All close contacts have been contacted and confirmed that they are not positive.

Genomic sequencing was carried out at the University of California San Francisco. The sequence was confirmed by CDC to be in line with the Omicron variation. This is the first case of COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant that has been confirmed 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 called it Omicron and on November 30, 2021 The United States also classified it as a Variant of Concern. CDC has been actively monitoring and making preparations for this variant, and we will continue to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to find out more. Omicron was found, but Delta remains the predominant strain in the United States.

The recent appearance of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further highlights the importance of vaccination, boosters, as well as general strategies to prevent against COVID-19. For everyone aged 18 and over, boosters are recommended.

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Gemma Wilson

Gemma is a journalism graduate with keen interest in covering business news – specifically startups. She has as a keen eye for technologies and has predicted quite a few successful startups over the last couple of years.

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