The first case of the latest concerning coronavirus variant called omicron has been found in California, according to the CDC.
The infected person was a traveler from South Africa, where the omicron was first discovered and they returned to the states on 22 November. The patient is fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms that are improving. Their close contacts have tested negative, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Genomic sequencing, used to identify coronavirus variants, was performed at the University of California, San Francisco and confirmed at the CDC. The tests showed that the infection was consistent with the omicron variant.
This is the first confirmed case of omicron in the United States. The variant has been discovered in more than a dozen other countries.
Little is known about the variant, and scientists are still working to determine if it is more contagious, severe or immunosuppressive.
Omicron has many mutations in the virus’ peak protein, which public health experts have said are worrying, and it appeared to have spread rapidly in South Africa, where very few people have been vaccinated.
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