The first case of the ommicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Los Angeles County, health officials said Thursday.
The fully vaccinated adult came back to LA County after a trip to South Africa via London, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public health. The infected person traveled on November 22.
The person was isolating on home, and anyone who came in Contact with the infected person has tested negative.
Civil servants also said the person was improving without medical care.
The announcement comes soon after the first American case of ommicron detected in San Francisco, in a traveler who back from South Africa on November 22 and tested positive on Nov 29.
That person had been fully vaccinated, but had not yet received a booster shot, said Dr. Anthony Fauci at a press conference on December 1 in the White House.
With a number of cases detected in the United States to date — including as many as five in New York — and ommicron continues to spread globally, here’s what we do and don’t do know over the new variant so far.
What is Omicron?
The ommicron variant was first detected by scientists in South Africa, where it is believed to be the cause of a recent spike in cases in the province of Gauteng.
It is unclear where the variant first arose. After South Africa notified the WHO of the presence of ommicron, Netherlands stated: they saw ommicron fallen up until a week earlier. the variant has been seen since in travelers arrive in multiple countries, from Australia to Israel to the Netherlands, as South Africa alerted the WHO.
Because the variant was announced so lately there’s still a lot we don’t do know as regards how it differs from other forms of COVID-19. Scientists over all over the world are studying the ommicron variety to collect more information.
The variant appears to have a high number of mutations, of genetic changes, on to be spike protein, a egg white found on the surface of the virus that plays a role in how easily the virus spreads between people.
Lawrence Young, a virologist at the university of Warwick, described omicron as “the most heavily mutated” version of the virus we’ve seen.”
Is Omicron more transferable?
It’s not known yet for sure as the ommicron variant of COVID-19 is more transferable. There is not much data yet and the data die exist, have not yet been thoroughly studied in time.
However, scientists are concerned that the large number — more than 30 — and nice of genetic changes to the spike protein, make ommicron more transferable.
Scientists keep a close eye on in the holes how the new variant can affect people who caught COVID-19 and recovered.
AN group of experts the organization gathered to discuss available data led the WHO to say that “preliminary evidence suggests an increased” risk of reinfection with this variant”, in comparison met other variants.
That means people who could have immunity to COVID-19 catch the again, with the ommicron variant.
Sharon Peacock, who led to genetic sequencing of COVID-19 in Great Britain at university of Cambridge, says so long the mutations in ommicron match the species die would increase portability, “the meaning of a lot of of the mutations is still unknown.”
Delta is still by far the most dominant form of COVID-19 worldwide.
Does Omicron Cause More Serious Diseases?
Just like the data over portability, we don’t do that yet know for sure of ommicron causes more severe disease than other forms of COVID-19, of that there is an increased risk of death.
There is no indication yet ommicron causes more severe disease.
Early reports from scientists in South Africa, who to be already intercourse with a rapid increase in cases, suggest that ommicron cases usually have mild symptoms.
“We see a strong increase in cases for the past 10 days. Until now, the cases were mostly very mild, with patients met flu-like symptoms: dry cough, fever, night sweats, a lot of body pains,” said Dr. Unben Pillay, An general practitioner in South African province of Gauteng where 81% of the new cases have been reported.
Most of die cases were mild enough to be treated home, rather than in hospitals. Pillay noted, however, that, with COVID-19, hospitalizations tend to: occur a few days after falling start until rise.
The ommicron variant of COVID-19 not in the US yet, but health officials are urging Americans to get vaccinated and get their booster shot if soon if possible. Toni Guinyard reports: for Today in LA on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
Most of fallen the ommicron in South Africa has been so far in relatively young people, in their 20s and 30s, Pillay noted. parent people may see more severe symptoms of infection.
And, as has been the case with Other shapes of COVID-19, vaccinated people seem to do better than unvaccinated people when it comes to microns.
How can I protect myself from Omicron?
The same tools used to stop previous versions of COVID-19 will help when it comes to microns.
masks in indoor environments, where ventilation is usually poorer and the virus tends to spread more easy if it is present, can help protect you from contamination, of protect others when you are sick and don’t realize it yet.
And vaccines are still important. Scientists research of current vaccines are less effective against ommicron, for which we don’t have enough data to say for certainly is the case.
“There is a lot of reasons: for optimism that this is not a of another terrible situation is die we are in. The vaccinations should delay up against serious illness, especially with people who are stimulated,” Dr. Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, told CNBC on Tuesday.
Boosters can also play an important role, reintroducing your body to what the virus is? like, which makes your immune system system produce higher levels of antibodies against COVID-19.
All vaccines also boost T cells, another part of the immune system’s response to disease, and one die less last enjoys the differences between variants of covid.
“Our T cells are very refractory, unaffected by variants, in some significant degree,” Topol said.
Ultimately gathering solid data to make certain statements over to do the effects of ommicron will take time.
“Careful studies take time,” Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University’s School of public health, said on the TODAY show. “You have to let the virus grow, run the tests, see what happens in people. There is no way go faster than that.”
Meanwhile, Chairman Joe Biden said: on Monday, “this variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”
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