US health authorities on Wednesday confirmed a first case of the new strain of coronavirus “Omicron” in an individual returning from South Africa. The case was detected in California.
The individual, who was fully vaccinated, had just returned from a trip to South Africa on November 22 and tested positive on November 29, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The individual is in self-quarantine and all close contacts have been contacted and, so far, tested negative,” White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said at a press briefing. .
According to the CDC, the genomic sequencing had been carried out at the University of California, San Francisco, confirming that it is indeed the highly contagious omicron variant. While warning against the panic, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom insisted on the imperative to “remain vigilant”. “It means getting vaccinated. Be boosted. Wear a mask indoors, ”he wrote on Twitter. Since South Africa first reported the variant to the World Health Organization, it has been confirmed in 23 countries and their numbers are expected to increase, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday. .
While the detection of Omicron has sparked panic around the world, the WHO says this new strain has yet to reveal all of its secrets.