UPDATED 6:11 PM PT – Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The first known case of the COVID Omicron variant in the U.S. has been detected in California.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the announcement on Wednesday and said the infected individual is fully vaccinated, has mild symptoms and is self-quarantining. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the individual had returned from South Africa to the San Francisco Bay area on Nov. 22.
Breaking: The first confirmed case of #OmicronVariant has been detected in the United States. Everyone 5 years and older should get vaccinated against #COVID19. Boosters are recommended for everyone 18 years and older. Read CDC’s full statement. https://t.co/raCFpQ6I1h
— CDC (@CDCgov) December 1, 2021
This comes as no surprise as health officials anticipated the variant would spread to the U.S. after initially being detected in South Africa last week.
Scientists have said Omicron could be more contagious, but it’s unclear whether the variant is more dangerous. It is also unclear how effective COVID-19 vaccines are against this strain of the virus.