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posted by martyb on Thursday December 02, @09:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the ten-percent-of-the-US-population-lives-in-California dept.

Omicron is now in the U.S., with first case found in California:

The first U.S. case of the omicron variant has been identified in California in a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The patient had mild symptoms that were improving and was in isolation, officials said.

Much remains unknown about the highly mutated variant, which scientists fear could be more transmissible and more resistant to vaccines. The new variant has been identified in more than 20 countries since it was first identified in southern Africa last week.

[...] Federal health officials are expanding a program that offers free coronavirus testing at key U.S. airports, part of strengthened efforts to monitor international arrivals amid growing concerns about the omicron variant.

Under the program, visitors from eight African nations, including those connecting through Europe, who arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, San Francisco International and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airports, will be given the option of taking a test when they arrive. Those who volunteer also will be given the option of an at-home test to take three to five days after arrival.

International arrivals already are required to show proof of a negative virus test before boarding U.S.-bound flights, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing this week that the screening program at four of the nation’s busiest airports will provide additional data that can aid in the agency’s monitoring efforts.

First case of omicron COVID variant identified in the US:

The first confirmed US case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in California, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a White House briefing Wednesday. The infected person arrived in the US from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29, Fauci said.

"Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California at San Francisco, and the sequence was confirmed at the CDC as being consistent with the omicron variant," said Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

[...] The person was fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine -- but had not had a booster shot -- and experienced only mild symptoms that are now improving. They are quarantining, and all close contacts have so far tested negative, Fauci said. The person is a resident of San Francisco between the ages of 18 and 49, and was not hospitalized, California Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference Wednesday.

"We knew that it was just a matter of time before the first case of omicron would be detected in the United States," Fauci said.

Fauci reiterated that within the next three weeks, there will be a lot more information about the transmissibility and severity of this strain of the disease, as well as the effectiveness of vaccinations and booster shots against the omicron variant. The new variant was first identified in South Africa in late November.

Also at Ars Technica and www.aljazeera.com


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @10:41AM (18 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @10:41AM (#1201426) Homepage Journal

    Want to stick with facts, huh? Well, fact is, we're doing something terribly wrong. The richest countries have the highest death rates. And, I don't accept the common wisdom that dark skinned people are too ignorant to count.

    --
    “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Opportunist on Thursday December 02, @10:49AM (4 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday December 02, @10:49AM (#1201428)

    We also have the highest number of old people. Ever taken a look at the age pyramid of Niger? Half the country ain't old enough to fuck legally in the US. Also, since they generally do understand how epidemics work, because they very likely have one in recent memory unlike us where only the ancient ones even know what a pandemic looks like (by the way, how many 80+ year olds do you know that believe the conspiracies?), and since they know that there ain't a medical system that will catch them if they fall due to their own stupidity, they tend to take warnings serious and try to avoid getting sick as well as they possibly can.

    And guess what, in this case that actually works.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:15PM (#1201636)
      >> how many 80+ year olds do you know that believe the conspiracies?

      I knew a few. but for some reason or other they're dead.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:55PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:55PM (#1201654)

      Niger

      THAT'S RACIST!!!

      • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday December 03, @07:11AM (1 child)

        by Opportunist (5545) on Friday December 03, @07:11AM (#1201767)

        I agree, but don't tell me that, tell that those Ni... who named their country that way!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 06, @08:31AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 06, @08:31AM (#1202472)

          You must have missed the memo, another sad misunderstanding. It's their word and they are the only ones allowed to use it. No need to thank me just correcting the record.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:09PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @01:09PM (#1201458)

    What America is doing wrong is that they want to remain "free". Free to travel wherever they like, free to leave there homes whenever they like, free do what they think is best for their own bodies, free to believe that evolution does not exist therefore all these viruses must be "manufactured", and so on. Putting ones life on the line to remain "free" is considered heroic.

    At this point the politicians know damn well that if they pull more of the same shit that other countries do, these people will vote them out of office or, more likely now, threaten their very lives.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @02:04PM (#1201483)

      Well, what would you expect from a political/corporate/media conglomerate that did everything it could to steal (sorry, "fortify") the election?

    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by number11 on Thursday December 02, @07:01PM (1 child)

      by number11 (1170) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @07:01PM (#1201589)

      What America is doing wrong is that they want to remain "free". Free to travel wherever they like, free to leave there homes whenever they like...

      Free to infect people they have contact with (or who have to breathe the same air). Free to fill the ICUs so that there isn't space for people with heart attacks or accident victims. Free to demand subsidized care when they do come down with covid (if they have insurance at all, the company will just raise everybody's premiums to cover the cost). Ah, freedumb!

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:38PM (#1201649)

        Ah, freedumb!

        I zee you az ze number elf, iz it from ze camp? [babylonbee.com]

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @05:11PM (6 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @05:11PM (#1201554) Journal

    we're doing something terribly wrong. The richest countries have the highest death rates.

    I would point out that in some of the richest countries, that is those rich countries with the largest concentrations of the stupidest people, we have many people who won't take one of the most basic precautions of getting vaccinated.

    I wouldn't mind them not getting vaccinated, if they would just stay home and not spread the disease and its variants.

    --
    Nature abhors a machine that removes dust from the living space.
    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @05:43PM (5 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @05:43PM (#1201560) Homepage Journal

      Let's get this straight. Poor countries can't afford the vaxx, but they have lower death rates. Richer countries get the vaxx, but they have higher death rates. Conclusion: people die because they don't get the vaxx.

      You've bought a pig in a poke. And, even as you watch the cat crawl out of the bag and go racing away, you won't believe that there is no pig.

      --
      “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Thursday December 02, @08:35PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @08:35PM (#1201621) Journal

    2nd US omicron case just traveled to NYC anime convention with 53K attendees

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/12/2nd-us-omicron-case-just-traveled-to-nyc-anime-convention-with-53k-attendees/ [arstechnica.com]

    I bet in poorer countries, they don't have one infected person as likely to travel to an event with 53,000 attendees, and then return home. Also, no doubt infecting others while en route to/from the event.

    I suspect in poorer countries people are more tribal, have contact with fewer people, and don't travel as far or as much or to as large of a gathering.

    --
    Nature abhors a machine that removes dust from the living space.
    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @10:26PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @10:26PM (#1201659) Homepage Journal

      Anime? You said ANIME? Jesus Christ on a Crutch. People who watch or read Asian/Oriental entertainment are obvious vectors! How hard is it for a virus to hide between the pixels?

      (I suppose I need a /sarcasm tag here.)

      --
      “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine