Second U.S. case of Omicron noticed in Minnesota, following journey to New York Metropolis

A second case of the Omicron variant has been recognized within the U.S., detected in a Minnesota resident who had traveled to New York Metropolis for a conference attended by  tens of 1000’s of individuals. Well being authorities in Minnesota mentioned Thursday they’re working with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and officers in New York Metropolis to analyze. 

The Minnesota man developed “delicate signs” on November 22, after touring to the Anime NYC 2021 conference in New York Metropolis, which hosted 53,000 attendees from November 19 by means of 21. 

Whereas the primary U.S. case of the Omicron variant was recognized in a traveler from South Africa, Minnesota’s case seems to be the primary an infection within the U.S. that doesn’t contain journey overseas. 

“Because the starting of this pandemic, Minnesota’s nation-leading genome sequencing infrastructure and powerful testing community have allowed the state to rapidly observe the COVID-19 virus and higher perceive its unfold,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz mentioned in an announcement.  “At present, these instruments detected a case of the Omicron variant in Minnesota.” 

Costumed folks attend Anime NYC on the Jacob Ok. Javits Conference Middle in New York Metropolis on November 20, 2021. – Anime NYC is an annual three-day anime conference held throughout in New York Metropolis.

KENA BETANCUR/AFP by way of Getty Photos

The conference apologized to its followers quickly after the occasion, acknowledging an enormous inflow of attendees that led to sprawling crowded strains all through the town’s Javits Middle.

“[W]ith this 12 months’s progress additionally comes our greatest problem. Methods to be a house for 53,000 followers. In 2019, we welcomed 46,000. This 12 months noticed solely 7,000 extra. However one thing was totally different. All the things was packed a lot, far more,” conference founder Peter Tarara mentioned in an announcement.

The invention of the case comes because the Biden administration is racing to ramp up surveillance for brand new instances of the variant, which well being officers have acknowledged could already be circulating within the U.S. 

In an alert posted on Wednesday evening, the CDC urged well being suppliers to gather journey historical past from new instances and ship the company samples “as rapidly as attainable” of suspected instances, as federal well being officers attempt to assess the unfold of latest instances brought on by the variant of concern.

As was true of the primary case recognized in California, Minnesota well being officers mentioned the individual with the second case had additionally been vaccinated. 

Greater than two dozen different nations and territories have to this point noticed a case of Omicron, most with a historical past of worldwide journey, however there have additionally been some instances of neighborhood unfold in Europe. 

Just about all instances seen outdoors Africa to this point have been delicate or asymptomatic, though well being officers have cautioned that younger vaccinated vacationers are typically at decrease threat of extreme instances of the illness than the overall inhabitants.

“Get vaccinated, get boosted, and prepare. We do anticipate there shall be extra instances. However to the extent that they’re delicate, we’ll deal with them. This isn’t trigger for alarm,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul advised reporters on Thursday.

Hochul mentioned there are not any confirmed instances but within the state of New York, however mentioned that “it is rather possible quickly that somebody goes to check optimistic for this.” The governor urged residents to not panic, citing safety from vaccinations and new medicines to deal with the illness.

“I need New Yorkers to have the arrogance to know that we’re able to take care of this,” mentioned Hochul.

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