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Thursday, March 30, 2023

First Confirmed US Omicron Patient Feels Good: Health Official

A health spokesman in San Francisco, California, said the first confirmed patient in the U.S. with the Omicron COVID-19 variant is doing well.

San Francisco health officer Dr. Susan Philip told news outlets on Thursday that “this first person is doing well,” and there is no indication that the option has been passed on further. The identity of the patient, including age, was not disclosed.

“We’re so happy to hear that and they’ve made a huge difference in our understanding in San Francisco and nationally because they grabbed our attention, reported their symptoms and called us at the public health department so we can start the laboratory process. to identify the first case in the US, ”she told CNN.

Philip said San Francisco officials are still investigating how the man contracted the Omicron variant, which the World Health Organization (WHO) described last week as a cause of concern, sparking new global alarm as governments around the world began impose travel restrictions and new closure orders.

So far, no Omicron-related deaths have been reported.

“This is the first case ever found, and it’s almost certainly not the first case in the US,” she said, adding that she and other health officials were trying to notify California health officials as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ).

In addition to the United States, a number of European countries have reported a new strain that WHO says may be more infectious than previous variants. However, it is unclear if Omicron could cause serious symptoms, and a leading South African physician who helped alert the public to his presence said Omicron patients receiving treatment in her country show “extremely mild” and unusual symptoms.

And leading drug developers, including the University of Oxford, said there was “no evidence” that Omicron would violate vaccine regulations.

But still, the European Union’s public health agency this week announced that Omicron could be responsible for more than half of all COVID-19 infections in Europe within a few months, lending weight to preliminary information about its high transmission.

South Africa said it is seeing an increase in COVID-19 reinfections in patients receiving Omicron, with people who have had the disease re-becoming infected, which was not the case with other options.

In Germany, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel announced tough new measures, including barring unvaccinated people from accessing all but the most important businesses, including supermarkets and pharmacies. Merkel and other German leaders said they would also limit the number of people at major events, including football matches and concerts. It is unclear how long the restrictions will last.

Earlier this week, the CDC said it would deploy additional COVID-19 surveillance at four major US airports due to the emergence of this option. These include Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and San Francisco International Airport, CDC director Rochelle Walenski told reporters.

Reuters contributed to this report.

To follow

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter for The Epoch Times from New York.

World Nation News Desk
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