United States

First case of Omicron recorded in US

09:05, 02 December 2021
First case of Omicron recorded in US Photo: Сергей Булкин/NEWS.ru

The US Department of Health identified on Wednesday the first case of a new variant of the coronavirus Omicron which was detected in the state of California, CNBC reported.

The infected person, who has been fully vaccinated, has only recently returned from southern Africa, said Anthony Fauci, the chief virologist of the United States.

“We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms but actually the symptoms appear to be improving,” Fauci said.

At the same time, Fauci added that the discovery of the Omicron strain in the United States is another indication of the need to vaccinate and use additional "booster" doses of vaccines. 

According to Fauci, recent research suggests that the "booster" dose should be useful at least to prevent a severe course of the Omicron strain.

Omicron was identified in November in southern Africa. Experts believe that it can pose a threat, it spreads much faster than other strains that scientists have identified during the pandemic and contains a large number of mutations.

Omicron is currently viewed by the World Health Organization as “of concern” and a special meeting was held by world’s countries in order to determine the next course of action in fighting the disease. 

Several countries including Japan and Israel have already closed their borders in order to prevent Omicron from spreading within them. 

Earlier, Moderna’s officials said that the vaccines against the new strain will be ready by 2022.