First Confirmed Case of Omicron Variant Detected in the United States
Vaccines, Booster Shots, and Preventive Measures Highly Encouraged
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the first case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) in the United States had been identified in California. Corpus Christi and Nueces County public health officials urge residents to take action to protect against COVID-19 with vaccination, boosters, and general public health measures.
The CDC now recommends everyone five and older get vaccinated. Boosters are recommended for everyone 18 years and older, six months after their second mRNA vaccine or two months after their shot. Vaccines and booster shots are available for free at many locations, including the vaccine clinic at La Palmera Mall, open seven days a week, and at City Hall and the Nueces County Courthouse. To see a schedule of clinic sites, visit www.cctexas.com/clinics.
“As the outbreak of the COVID-19 Omicron Variant continues to evolve and has now been confirmed in the United States, I urge all residents to remain vigilant in your safety protocols,” Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo said. “The vaccination and booster shot is available throughout the City. We encourage you to stay informed for the safety of you and your family.”
Prevention practices such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and wearing face masks can help reduce the spread of the virus. Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 are urged to seek medical attention quickly, as early detection and treatment with monoclonal antibody therapy can reduce the severity and duration of illness.
The Delta variant is the predominant strain of the coronavirus in the U.S., but the Omicron variant is expected to spread rapidly. At a press briefing held Tuesday, November 30, elected officials and public health experts expressed a common theme: the Omicron variant is like a hurricane in the gulf, and now is the time to prepare by getting vaccinated, getting booster shots, and taking preventive health measures. Vaccine immunity takes two weeks to develop completely.
The Omicron variant has been labeled a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC. It is believed to spread more easily than earlier variants. Vaccines appear to offer protection against COVID-19 and reduce the severity of symptoms for those who become ill from the Omicron variant.
About the first U.S. Case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant
The first U.S. case, announced December 1, 2021, was an individual who was fully vaccinated. The patient had mild symptoms that are improving and continues to follow isolation precautions. The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. More information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1201-omicron-variant.html.