A COVID-19 testing facility is marketed at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport on November 30, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey.
Spencer Platt | Getty Photographs
Greater than 20 individuals throughout 11 U.S. states have examined optimistic for the omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19. The sufferers vary in age, vaccination standing and journey historical past, however none of them have developed extreme illness to date.
Whereas some sufferers had lately traveled in southern Africa, the place the variant was first detected, others had no journey historical past, indicating that neighborhood transmission is underway within the U.S.
“We completely have neighborhood unfold on this nation,” Dr. Anthony Fauci informed Bloomberg Tv on Friday. “We do not know what number of of them, however there is not any doubt there’s neighborhood unfold.”
Scientists and public well being officers are nonetheless gathering information on whether or not omicron is extra transmissible, higher evades immune safety from vaccines, and/or causes extra extreme illness than different variants.
Those that have examined optimistic within the U.S. have all proven delicate to reasonable signs and not one of the sufferers have been hospitalized to date, in response to essentially the most present data from state public well being departments. Nonetheless, delicate circumstances of Covid can progress to extra extreme illness over time.
Lots of the individuals who have examined optimistic within the U.S. had been totally vaccinated. A minimum of two of the sufferers who had been immunized had not obtained booster pictures but, however one other individual had obtained their extra dose. And in at the very least one case, an individual who had beforehand recovered from Covid examined optimistic for omicron.
Whereas the handful of circumstances within the U.S. do not present any definitive solutions about omicron, the World Well being Group stated Friday that early information suggests the virus is extra contagious. And South African scientists revealed a examine, which has not but been peer reviewed, that discovered omicron carries a better threat of reinfecting individuals who beforehand caught Covid than previous variants.
Though among the individuals who examined optimistic for omicron had been totally vaccinated, the truth that they’ve developed delicate signs means that the pictures are nonetheless offering safety in opposition to extreme illness from the variant, U.S. well being officers stated. Fauci stated Friday throughout a White Home Covid briefing that lab research point out booster pictures improve antibody safety in opposition to a variety of variants.
“There’s each purpose to imagine that when you get vaccinated and boosted that you’d have at the very least a point of cross-protection,” Fauci stated, “very possible in opposition to extreme illness, even in opposition to the omicron variant.”
California confirmed the primary U.S. case of omicron Wednesday in an individual who lately returned from South Africa to the San Francisco space. The individual was between 18 and 49 years of age, totally vaccinated and was not eligible for his or her booster shot but, in response to Gov. Gavin Newsom. The individual confirmed delicate signs and is predicted to make a full restoration, Newsom stated Wednesday.
“The proof that a person with omicron recognized by sequencing really has delicate signs, is enhancing, I feel is an affidavit to the significance of the vaccinations,” stated Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Well being and Human Companies secretary.
California confirmed a second omicron case Thursday within the Los Angeles space. That grownup was additionally totally vaccinated and had lately returned from South Africa through London, in response to the town well being division. The individual’s signs are enhancing with out medical care, officers stated.
“This an infection is most definitely travel-related,” the Los Angeles County public health department said. The division, citing privateness considerations, wouldn’t disclose the individual’s age or booster standing when requested by CNBC on Friday.
In Minnesota on Thursday, public well being officers confirmed an omicron case in an grownup male who was totally vaccinated and had lately returned from an anime conference on the Javits Heart in New York Metropolis. His signs had been delicate and have since resolved, according to the state health department.
The Minnesota resident had obtained a booster shot previous to attending the conference in New York, Minnesota public well being spokesman Doug Schultz informed CNBC on Friday.
On Thursday morning, Colorado confirmed a case of omicron in a totally vaccinated grownup lady who had not obtained a booster shot. The girl, like the primary case in California, had a latest journey historical past to southern Africa, the place the variant was first detected. She is experiencing minor signs and is recovering at residence, according to Colorado’s health department.
Gov. Jared Polis informed residents throughout a press convention Thursday that well being officers imagine neighborhood unfold is low in Colorado for the time being. Well being officers haven’t but detected omicron via wastewater evaluation, they usually haven’t detected a second case via genetic sequencing but.
“So if it was prevalent, we might know — it doesn’t suggest it is nonexistent,” Polis stated.
Hawaii confirmed a case in Oahu on Thursday in an individual who was beforehand contaminated with Covid, was by no means vaccinated and had no journey historical past, according to the state health department. The individual is exhibiting reasonable signs, it stated.
“It is a case of neighborhood unfold,” the division stated in a press launch.
Nebraska confirmed six omicron circumstances Friday, in a transmission chain that seems to have began with an individual who lately traveled to Nigeria. The opposite 5 individuals had been possible uncovered via family contact with the one that had traveled to Africa, in response to the state well being division. Solely one of many six individuals was vaccinated, however none of them have required hospitalization.
Maryland on Friday confirmed three individuals from the Baltimore metro space examined optimistic for omicron. Two of the individuals are from the identical family, a vaccinated one who had lately traveled to South Africa and a detailed contact of that one who was unvaccinated. The third case was in a vaccinated one who had no identified latest journey historical past, in response to state officers.
“Not one of the three people are hospitalized,” Gov. Larry Hogan stated in a press launch.
A person in his 30s from northwest Philadelphia has examined optimistic for omicron, metropolis officers confirmed on Friday. Philadelphia’s well being division stated it’s working to get extra data on the case.
A St. Louis resident with latest home journey historical past is presumed optimistic for omicron, the Missouri state well being division stated Friday. The pattern was sequenced by a industrial lab and is awaiting affirmation by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
The Missouri state well being division didn’t present data on the person’s age, vaccination historical past or signs. CNBC has reached out to state well being authorities out for extra data.
The New Jersey Division of Well being has confirmed a case of omicron in a traveler from Georgia who was lately in South Africa. The grownup lady, who’s totally vaccinated, skilled reasonable signs and is now recovering after receiving care in an emergency division in northern New Jersey, in response to state well being officers.
New York recognized 5 circumstances of the omicron variant Thursday night, however the particulars are sparse.
A 67-year-old lady in Suffolk County examined optimistic after latest journey to South Africa, in response to Gov. Kathy Hochul. The affected person had some vaccination historical past, however it’s not clear if she was totally immunized or had obtained a booster. The girl has proven delicate signs, together with a headache and cough.
Two individuals additionally examined optimistic within the New York Metropolis borough of Queens, and one other individual examined optimistic in Brooklyn, however their vaccination histories had been unknown as of Thursday night. One other traveler additionally reportedly examined optimistic within the metropolis, although the governor did not present any extra data.
CNBC has reached out to New York Metropolis’s well being division requesting additional particulars on the vaccination standing and signs of the individuals who examined optimistic for omicron.
New York Metropolis Well being Commissioner Dave Chokshi informed the general public Thursday that the circumstances point out there may be neighborhood unfold within the state.
“This isn’t simply people who find themselves touring to southern Africa or to different elements of the world the place omicron has already been recognized,” Chokshi stated.
Utah confirmed its first case of the omicron variant, public well being officers confirmed Friday.
Officers stated the person who examined optimistic was an older grownup who lately returned residence to Utah after touring to South Africa.
The individual is totally vaccinated and confirmed solely delicate signs. They obtained monoclonal antibody remedy.