- The first known U.S. omicron case was a traveler who returned to California from South Africa on Nov. 22, according to the CDC.
- U.S. labs are sequencing 5% to 10% of positive COVID-19 samples, up from less than 1% early in the pandemic, boosted by nearly $200 billion from the Biden administration.
- Public health labs are prioritizing samples with a marker known as “S gene dropout” that differentiates omicron from delta.
With the nation’s first case of omicron identified in California, public and private labs nationwide are scouring virus samples to learn how far the new coronavirus variant has traveled.
While omicron, first identified in South Africa, its neighboring countries and Europe, has spread rapidly, scientists are analyzing thousands of positive COVID-19 samples to find more cases in the United States. Still unknown is whether the new variant will transmit more easily than the dominant delta strain or if existing vaccines will be effective against it.
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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service