More than 40 cases of the new strain of coronavirus infection, Omicron, have been identified in the United States.
Nearly all Omicron-related COVID-19 cases in the United States are mild. This was announced on Wednesday, December 8, by the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Rochelle Walensky in an interview.
The new variant of the coronavirus was confirmed in 43 people in 19 states of the country. Most of the patients are young people. More than three-quarters of them are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and a third have already received additional vaccinations.
According to her, most patients with Omicron have a mild course of the disease, most often they register symptoms such as cough, nasal congestion and fatigue.
Walensky noted that one patient was hospitalized, but no deaths were recorded.
The CDC has not yet made any predictions about how the mutation may alter the course of the pandemic in the United States. According to Walensky, officials are accumulating data, but multiple factors could impact how the outbreak develops.
“When I look to what the future holds, so much of that is definitely about the science, but it’s also about coming together as a community to do things that prevent disease in yourself and one another. And I think a lot of what our future holds depends on how we come together to do that,” she said.
At the same time, Walenski noted that data on this strain is very limited, and the CDC continues to study what threats it may pose to the country.
In the US, Omicron cases accounted for less than 1% of all new cases last week, while the Delta variant accounted for more than 99% of infections.
Pfizer, the vaccine manufacturer, said on Wednesday that while two doses may not be enough to prevent illness, lab testing revealed that a booster increased levels of virus-fighting antibodies by 25-fold.
Blood samples collected a month after a booster revealed that patients had levels of omicron-neutralizing antibodies comparable to those found to be protective against earlier variants after two doses, according to the company.
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