A sign outside the hospital advertises the COVID-19 test in New York City on November 19, 2021.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Minnesota public health officials confirmed on Thursday what appeared to be the second US case of the Omicroncovid variant in a resident who recently returned from New York City, the state’s Ministry of Health said.
The man, who recovered after being fully vaccinated, visited New York City to attend the Anime NYC 2021 competition at the Javits Center from November 19 to 21, the agency said in a statement. The first case of Omicron was a person who recently returned to San Francisco from a trip to South Africa and was confirmed in California by US authorities on Wednesday.
New York state health officials have not yet confirmed the incident in the state, Governor Kathy Hokul told reporters at a press conference in Manhattan on Thursday.
Dr. Mary Bassett, New York City Health Commissioner, said it was only a matter of time before it was confirmed somewhere in the state. “We now have an exposure that we fully expect it to be detected within a few days,” she said.
Hochul said attendees of the meeting needed to be vaccinated and recommended that everyone be tested. She said that the organizers of the anime convention have contact information for all participants, which simplifies contact tracking to monitor potential outbreaks.
“Everyone had to be vaccinated to get involved in the first place,” she said. “Therefore, at least those who test positive based on this first individual expect the symptoms to be fairly minor.”
Hockle said New York has taken appropriate precautions and has not overreacted to Omicron varieties arriving in the United States. Bars and restaurants are packed in Midtown Manhattan, so people feel safe enough to return to normal social life. “We are encouraging it,” said the governor.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Thursday that it is working closely with public health authorities in Minnesota and New York City to investigate the latest confirmed cases of Omicron. Rochelle Wallensky, director of the CDC, said the United States has expanded its genomic sequence and identified new mutants over the past nine months.
“There are more tools than this time last year, from vaccines to boosters, indoor public masking, frequent hand washing, physical distance, and other preventive strategies we know. There is, “Walensky said. “These methods work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of the gene sequence.”
Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the first patient in California to test positive for Omicron in the United States was also fully vaccinated, showing mild symptoms and improving. He said people between the ages of 18 and 49 had not been boosted because they were less than six months away from the original vaccination course.
Health authorities in the United States and around the world are concerned that Omicron is more contagious and may circumvent some of the protection provided by currently available vaccines. There are about 50 mutations in the mutant, more than 30 of which are in the pesplomer that the virus uses to attach to human cells.
“Molecular profile of the types of mutations you see [in omicron] Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House’s chief medical adviser, told reporters Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Biden administration set out plans to combat the potential winter surge of Omicron and the major delta variants of the virus. The White House requires all inbound international travelers to inspect Covid within 24 hours of departure. The government has extended the mask requirements for domestic and public transport until March 18. We are also expanding access to free home Covid tests.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday said Omicron was confirmed in at least 23 countries around the world. This variant was first identified in Botswana last month and received WHO attention by South African public health authorities.
WHO technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove said Wednesday that hospitalizations are on the rise in South Africa, but more data is needed before concluding whether Omicron causes more serious illness. be.
Pfizer and Moderna CEOs say it will take about two weeks to collect enough data to determine how mutations in Omicron affect the efficacy of current vaccines. They say it will take until early 2022 to develop shots specifically targeting variants. However, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the company could deploy higher-dose booster shots much faster.
Minnesota reports the second U.S. Omicron incident of a resident traveling to New York
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