1st Case of Omicron COVID Variant Detected in Mass. in Vaccinated Lady – NBC10 Boston

The brand new, extremely transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Massachusetts for the primary time, the Massachusetts Division of Public Well being mentioned Saturday.
The individual is a girl in her 20s from Middlesex County who had traveled out of Massachusetts. She is totally vaccinated, had a gentle case of COVID-19 and did not should be hospitalized, officers mentioned.
The variant had already been detected in a number of states throughout the nation this week.
Proof has proven omicron to be extra transmissible than different COVID variants, and it has been labeled a „variant of concern“ by the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and the World Well being Group, however the Division of Public Well being famous Saturday that „scientists are nonetheless working to find out the way it might examine with the predominant Delta variant when it comes to transmissibility and illness severity.“
The first U.S. case of the omicron variant was detected on Wednesday in a vaccinated one who had flown from South Africa to California, high U.S. infectious illness professional Dr. Anthony Fauci introduced. The variant was found just a little over every week in the past after being recognized in South Africa, although earlier instances have been present in Europe.

Massachusetts‘ first case of the variant was recognized by genetic sequencing completed at New England Biolabs, state well being officers mentioned.
The lady was not recognized, and officers did not say the place she had traveled out of state.
Greater than 10 states within the U.S. have reported omicron instances, together with not less than eight in New York State. No different states in New England have reported a case but.
This week, NBC10 Boston requested three high Boston docs to reply some key open questions in regards to the omicron variant as a part of our weekly „COVID Q&A“ collection, together with how nervous we must be in regards to the omicron variant and if its signs any worse than earlier strains.
„I believe we must be watchful, however not nervous,“ mentioned Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, Brigham and Girls’s Hospital’s chief of infectious illness. „President Biden mentioned ‚That is trigger for concern, however not for panic,‘ which I agree with. There’s each motive to assume that getting vaccinated and taking easy public well being measures like persevering with to put on a masks when in crowded conditions indoors are going to be extremely protecting.“
All three docs mentioned they do not count on signs from the omicron variant to vary a lot from the opposite strains, however in addition they mentioned it is too quickly to know for positive.
„I am undecided there are any main modifications in kind of the array of signs related to these viruses,“ mentioned Dr. David Hamer, an infectious illness specialist at Boston Medical Middle. „One of many modifications is in the event you grow to be vaccinated and get a breakthrough case, you are more likely to have milder signs.“
Many consultants, together with Fauci, have mentioned that present COVID vaccines are anticipated to assist stop extreme illness in individuals contaminated by omicron to not less than a point.
The delicate nature of the California case is „testimony to the significance of the vaccinations,“ California Well being Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly mentioned Wednesday.
However among the many proof that the omicron variant could also be extra infectious than earlier mutations is current analysis monitoring reinfections in South Africa. Native scientists this week reported a bounce in reinfections with the arrival of omicron that they hadn’t seen when two earlier variants, together with the extra-contagious delta variant, moved via the nation.
The findings, posted on-line Thursday, are preliminary and have not but undergone scientific assessment. Nor did the researchers say what portion of the reinfections had been confirmed as omicron instances — or whether or not they induced severe sickness.
However the timing of the reinfection spike means that omicron „demonstrates substantial population-level proof for evasion of immunity from prior an infection,“ they wrote.
The Related Press contributed to this report.