A case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected in the state of Minnesota, in the north of USA, in a person who had been to New York but had not recently traveled abroad, local health authorities announced Thursday.
This announcement indicates that Omicron has begun to be transmitted between people in the United States.
Like the first omicron case detected in the United States, confirmed Wednesday in California (West), the patient in Minnesota was vaccinated and had mild symptoms from which he has now recovered, officials said.
The man returned to the Minneapolis metropolitan area from an “anime” convention in New York City, held November 19-21, before developing symptoms on November 22 and getting tested two days later.
“This news is disturbing, but not a surprise,” said the Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, in a statement, praising his state’s genomic sequencing and virus testing efforts.
Community transmission in the United States was expected by epidemiologists, despite Washington’s decision to ban travelers from various southern nations of the United States. Africa, after South Africa reported the identification of the new virus strain on November 24.
This second Omicron contagion in the United States was made public a day after the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) announced the first confirmed case in the country following a test in a fully vaccinated traveler who had recently returned from South Africa and was recovering from mild symptoms.
Health authorities in the United States are urging everyone over the age of five to apply the anticovid vaccine and booster doses once they are in the proper range.
Scientists hope that ongoing laboratory tests will soon reveal the extent to which Ómicron eludes the protection of vaccines, but they hope that it will remain at least partially effective, especially against serious diseases of Covid-19.
Anthony Fauci, a scientific adviser to the US government, said on Wednesday that experience with other variants of concern, such as delta, had shown that boosters were a good idea because they increase the amount of antibodies in a person’s immune system, some of which they will remain effective in stopping new variants.