At 4 am, the first case of the coronavirus omicron variant was conﬁrmed in the United States. Scientists stayed up all night on Wednesday.
The city's well-connected network of public health and university medical center researchers collaborated to identify that an omicron infection reported six days earlier was, in fact, omicron. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were informed as soon as the results were available.
Omicron variant detected in the US
The case began on November 22, when a passenger from South Africa arrived at San Francisco International Airport, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom. COVID-19 symptoms did not appear in the person, a San Francisco resident who has not been identified, until Thanksgiving Day.
They were tested two days later, on November 28, and the results were received the next day. Despite their illness, they went out of their way to notify the San Francisco Department of Public Health of the positive test and the fact that they had just visited South Africa. At the news conference, Dr. Grant Colfax, the city's director of public health, said, "They did the right thing and were tested and reported their travel history."
Per USA Today, the person had gotten the entire two-dose Moderna vaccination course but no booster. They suffered minor symptoms and have since recovered, but they are still quarantining themselves. According to the CDC, public health officials have contacted close contacts, who have all tested negative thus far.
At 10 pm Tuesday, a patient's nose swab sample arrived. Chiu's group performed a quick molecular test to look for an S gene drop-out, which occurs when the spike gene isn't discovered during the test. Within two hours, the test revealed that the person had been infected with a drop-out variant. Because the S gene drop-out is seen in both alpha and omicron coronavirus variants, the test could only suggest that it was omicron.
The findings were in, and the first case of omicron in the United States had been detected in San Francisco. Within two hours, the CDC was informed. Officials warn that the case was likely not the country's first, but rather the first discovered.
Omicron variant's vaccine effectiveness, symptoms
On November 26, the World Health Organization recognized omicron, also known as B.1.1.529, as a variant of concern. South African and international researchers are doing research to better comprehend the new variant.
In a November 28 update, the WHO said that it is "not yet clear" if omicron is more transmissible or whether infection with the variant produces more severe illness than other variants. Preliminary information shows that the symptoms are minor, Sky News reported.
Travel restrictions imposed over COVID-19 that isolate any one nation or area are "not only deeply unfair and punitive - they are ineffective," according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
During a press conference, Guterres stressed that countries that had reported the new strain's development should not "be collectively penalized for detecting and sharing critical science and health information with the world," as per India Times via MSN.
Omicron has already been found in more than 24 countries around the world. The first case in the United States comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Michigan and other midwestern states as winter approaches. However, Fauci stated public health officials "feel good" that the Californian had only moderate symptoms that were improving, and he warned against drawing any conclusions about the omicron virus's virility.