Doctor with Omicron seems to pass on the error to only one person

A fully vaccinated Israeli doctor who became infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant appears to have passed the bug on to only one other person – despite coming into close contact with dozens of people.

Dr. Elad Maor, a cardiologist at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, told the UK’s Guardian that he came down with symptoms and was tested positive on November 27 after attending a three-day conference in London over the weekend.

“I got Omicron in London, for sure,” Maor, who has received three doses of the Pfizer vaccine, told the store.

“It’s interesting because it was 10 days ago in London – really, really early.”

According to the World Health Organization, the B.1.1.529 variant was first reported from South Africa on November 24 – the day Maor returned to Israel.

The 45-year-old father of three said he was given a PCR test on November 20, November 21 and again on November 24 upon arrival in Tel Aviv – all of which came back negative.

Without symptoms and three negative tests, Maor returned to work and told the New York Times that he then performed procedures on 10 patients before feeling ill.

Elad Maor
Dr. Elad Maor said he lay in bed for 48 hours with symptoms despite being triple vaccinated.

In addition, he also shared a 90-minute drive with the 70-year-old colleague, ate in a crowded cafeteria, attended a piano recital and enjoyed a great dinner with his wife and extended family.

The only other person who has tested positive so far is his colleague, the Times said.

That number may rise as the virus may take several days to show up in tests, but these initial results have left infectious disease experts at Maor’s Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, cautiously optimistic.

At least 50 people have already been screened with a PCR test by the hospital, and at least 10 of them have been tested at least three times, the newspaper reported.

Delegated at the London Conference, where Dr.  Elad Maor attended.
Delegated at the London Conference, where Dr. Elad Maor attended.

Maor’s wife, who accompanied him to London, has not tested positive either, and neither has the couple’s children.

The people he had spent the most time with had all recently gotten a third “booster” shot, the Times noted.

“It’s reassuring, I think,” Maor told the Guardian. “I think that’s the transferability of this [variant] is not completely different or extremely different from what I know about Delta. “

Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the Epidemiological Unit for Infectious Diseases in Sheba, told the Times that the case shows that “in some cases, Omicron is not as contagious if you are vaccinated, and I think that’s a significant thing. “

Meanwhile, Maor, who remains in isolation at home, expressed concern that, despite no underlying medical problems and triple-vaccinated, he has been hit hard by the bug with fever, sore throat and muscle aches.

Dr.  Elad Maor is vaccinated
Maor, who was seen here being vaccinated, warned that his symptoms could have been much worse if the sting had not been.
Twitter / @maor_elad

“After all, despite the vaccines and the booster, I lay in bed for 48 hours,” he told the Times. “If I had not received the vaccine, I would probably have ended up in the hospital.”

The doctor encourages people to get vaccinated, including boosters.

“I can not stress the importance of it enough,” he told the Guardian. “Things could have ended much worse for my family and friends – I’m sure my illness could have been worse, if not for the vaccine.”


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