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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

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:26PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @09:26PM (#1201641)
    The US and Canada already have separate border strategies, both operating independently of the current WHO recommendations, which are NOT to shut down borders. So we already tell the WHO to fuck off when it comes to covid policies.

    Same with the bullshit they're pushing about vaccine inequity being behind the current mutation. Countries like Nigeria and Papau New Guinea don't want more vaccines because most of the population doesn't want them. Half believe covid is a hoax. They don't have the infrastructure to deliver enough shots in arms either.

    While the first omicron patient was identified in South Africa, it appears Nigeria was the true source and hub. So an infinite supply of vaccines wouldn't have made a difference; neither would removing patent protection. The WHO are lying politicians or they would start placing guilt where it belongs (in this case Nigeria, not patents and not lack of vaccines).

  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday December 02, @10:17PM (1 child)

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday December 02, @10:17PM (#1201657)

    At this point, I think it's worth pointing out that the WHO has zero actual power to do anything other than politely ask governments to pretty please do XYZ, and ship supplies from point A to point B. Political leaders can choose to follow their recommendations, or tell them to fuck off as they like.

    Your idea about what they do is basically complete fantasy.

    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, @01:32AM (#1201707)

      Butbutbut muh NWO UN soldiers black helicopters JADE HELM!


      Also for the record, I have no problem sending the US army to Portland and Seattle to stop lefties from burning them down.