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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: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02, @10:40PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02, @10:40PM (#1201667) Homepage Journal

    Whoa now! Just slow down a little bit there! When, and where, have I ever suggested that you, or anyone else, should NOT get vaxxed? If I have really made any such suggestion, I apologize for that, here and now.

    I approve of you getting vaxxed, if you want to get vaxxed. I approve of you deciding for your kids whether they should be vaxxed or not. The thing I have objected to all along, is you deciding whether I get vaxxed or not. I'm kinda live and let live, you know? If it makes the Demon-sperm woman feel good to have an exorcist exorcise her home every week, I'm find with that. If it makes audiophiles feel good to replace their gold plated connectors annually, I'm fine with that. If it makes furries feel good to wear furry shit everywhere they go, I'm fine with that. And, if it makes you feel good to get vaxxed, I'm happy for you, because you're a little less weird than some of the other examples.

    What I have always been pissed about, is the arrogance of your tribe, who insist that they have the authority to dictate whether I will have a vax - or not. Mask mandates, etc ad nauseum. Social distancing, I can go along with. I don't like people invading my personal space, unless they are curvaceous and looking for sex.

    Hell no, I'm not lobbying to make vaxes illegal, or whatevr you're suggesting here.

    If you like your vax, you can keep your vax. Obama and I agree on that one point.

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