TravelGuides – Omicron variant cases have been found in New York and LA, officials say

TravelGuides – Omicron variant cases have been found in New York and LA, officials say

People in masks walk near Little Island park in New York City.Noam Galai/Getty Images

  • Five Omicron coronavirus variant cases have been found in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday.

  • One Omicron coronavirus variant case has also been found in LA.

  • The Omicron variant has now been found in five US states.

Omicron coronavirus variant cases have been detected in New York state and Los Angeles, officials in both regions said on Thursday.

All five of the cases in New York state were found in the New York City metropolitan area. Officials said they were:

  • One case in a 67-year-old woman in Suffolk County, Long Island, “with some vaccination history” who recently been to South Africa

  • Two cases in Queens

  • One case in Brooklyn

  • One more “suspected traveler case” of someone who was in “one of the five boroughs”

Officials said it was not known if four of the people were vaccinated.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a briefing on Thursday that the cases were “no cause for alarm,” but that health officials “are taking this extremely seriously from the public health perspective” and are “not complacent,” Politico reported.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City told the briefing that people should assume the variant is spreading in New York, and should take measures like vaccinations and masks.

Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, meanwhile, said in a statement to the LA Times on Thursday that one case of the variant had been found in an LA resident.

County officials told the LA Times that the infection was found in a fully vaccinated individual who had flew to South Africa via London on November 22.

Omicron has a large number of mutations, which is concerning to scientists.

Having more mutations increases the chances that Omicron could be more transmissible, escape the immune protection from vaccines or previous infection, or causes symptoms that are different from other variants. But it’s not yet clear if Omicron does any of these things.

As of Friday, the variant has been found in at least 28 countries.

In the US, Omicron has also been detected in Colorado, Minnesota, and Hawaii.

Read the original article on Business Insider

TravelGuides – Omicron variant cases have been found in New York and LA, officials say

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