First Omicron Case in the United States Reported
The first Omicron COVID-19 case was discovered in California. The patient, who traveled from South Africa, has since recovered.
Updated 12/1 at 3:14 pm:
At a press conference this afternoon, Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced the discovery of the first case of someone with the Omicron variant in San Francisco, California.
According to Fauci, the person traveled from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive on November 29. San Francisco's Director of Public Health, Dr. Grant Colfax, said the patient was fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine.
After their return from South Africa, the patient became symptomatic, got tested for COVID-19, and reported their travel history.
While they initially had mild symptoms, the Omicron patient has since recovered.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a new risk assessment for the COVID-19 variant. “The overall global risk…is assessed as very high,” according to the organization.
In light of the news about the variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened their recommendation that all individuals 18 and older receive an additional "booster" vaccine dose. Adults are eligible for a booster shot 6 months after a regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or 2 months after a dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.
The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna expressed their doubts about the efficacy of the current vaccines with the variant, but both discussed strategies to deal with the new strain.
Check back for more updates on this evolving story.