At least six U.S. states have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with Nebraska the latest to confirm a batch of infections of the new strain.
Since California confirmed the first reported case of Omicron in the United States on Dec. 1, the variant has been detected in Minnesota, New York, Colorado and Hawaii, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease, said on Friday. Control and Prevention of the United States.
That list excluded Nebraska, which revealed after the White House Coronavirus Task Force Walensky briefing that it had detected its first cases of Omicron.
The state health department has identified six cases of the strain. The first case was linked to an individual who was “probably exposed during an international trip to Nigeria”. They returned to the United States on November 23 and became symptomatic a day later. The other five cases were “probably exposed through family contact”.
Only one of the six people was vaccinated, but none required hospitalization, the Nebraska Health Department said.
Health officials in other states have variously described their Omicron cases as having “minor”, “mild” or “moderate” symptoms.
With the spread of Omicron in the United States, potentially at an early stage, Dr Anthony Fauci said the necessary clinical data used to help determine the threat posed by the variant will take time to collect. “We hope to have this information from you in the next few weeks,” he said on Friday.
The United States has recorded an average of around 86,400 new Covid-19 infections per day over the past week, Walensky said. That’s about on par with a week ago, but represents an increase of over 20 percent from last month. Over the past week, the level of coronavirus hospitalizations has averaged around 6,300 and the seven-day average of deaths has been around 860, she added.