The first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus documented in the U.S. is in a fully vaccinated individual.
The case was discovered in the San Francisco area, according to CNBC.
“The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.
“The individual 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.”
The individual had received two doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, according to The New York Times.
Newsom said the person had not received a booster and was between 18 and 49 years old.
He added that the individual began experiencing symptoms on Thursday, was tested for COVID-19 on Sunday and received a positive result on Monday.
Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, then determined that the virus was the omicron variant.
Newsom used the arrival of omicron in the U.S. to push the COVID-19 vaccine.
“There’s no reason to panic, but we should remain vigilant. That means get vaccinated. Get boosted. Wear a mask indoors,” he said.
“There’s more panic than information around this new variant. … I think we can communicate so we can avoid any shutdowns, we can avoid shutting down our schools or businesses. None of us want to see that happen.”
White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said none of the patient’s contacts had tested positive.
“We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms, but actually the symptoms appear to be improving,” he added.
Fauci used the opportunity to tell Americans to wear masks in public.
“You can feel safe with not wearing a mask and having a dinner or having a reception,” he said. “But when you are in a public congregate setting in which you do not know the status of the vaccination of the people involved, it is very prudent to wear a mask.”
World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said Monday that the world should be “wide awake to the threat of this virus.”
“There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues & wars take people equally by surprise.”
Omicron’s emergence remind us of how perilous & precarious our situation is. We should be wide awake to the threat of this virus. #WHASpecial https://t.co/QHvdd6SoGJ pic.twitter.com/lSougJ0gts
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) November 29, 2021
“The emergence of the highly mutated omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is,” he said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.