The first confirmed US case of the omicron variant of has been identified in California, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a White House briefing Wednesday. The infected person arrived in the US from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29, Fauci said.
"Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California at San Francisco, and the sequence was confirmed at the CDC as being consistent with the omicron variant," said Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
The person was fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine -- but had not had a-- and experienced only mild symptoms that are now improving. They are quarantining, and all close contacts have so far tested negative, Fauci said. The person is a resident of San Francisco between the ages of 18 and 49, and was not hospitalized, California Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference Wednesday.
"We knew that it was just a matter of time before the first case of omicron would be detected in the United States," Fauci said.
Fauci reiterated that within the next three weeks, there will be a lot more information about the transmissibility and severity of this strain of the disease, as well as the effectiveness ofand against the . The new variant was in late November.
The omicron variant was identified by UCSF at around 4am Wednesday morning, it confirmed during a press conference with San Francisco Mayor London Breed. California will increase COVID-19 testing at airports for arrivals from countries identified by the CDC.
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