Israeli doctor says he ‘for sure’ caught Omicron in London in November

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An Israeli doctor who was among the first doctors in the world to be infected with Omicron says he caught it at a major medical conference in London.

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Cardiology professor Elad Maur, believes he caught the new strain at a three-day meeting at the XCEL in east London in November – raising questions about whether the variant was earlier than thought in the UK.

in one interview with the GuardianThe 45-year-old said he arrived in London on 19 November and stayed four nights at the Islington Hotel, before flying back to Israel on 23 November.


He began experiencing symptoms within days, and tested positive for Omicron on November 27.

Cardiologist Elad Maur

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Cardiologist Elad Maur

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“I found Omicron in London, of course,” he told the paper. “It’s interesting because he was in London 10 days ago – really, really early.”

The incubation period, the time between infection and symptoms, can be up to two weeks.

Working since the PCR test returned a positive result, Maor believes he may have been infected on the last day of the conference.

The father of three, who has had three COVID vaccines, said he may have unknowingly infected a 69-year-old colleague, who has since tested positive for the new strain.

Maor, who is self-isolating at his home in Israel, has so far shown mild Covid symptoms, including fever, muscle aches and sore throat.

On Wednesday it was revealed that Omicron was in Nigeria in October – before the version was identified and revealed to the world last week.

In the Netherlands, the mutation was also identified in two test samples taken between 19 and 23 November, before South Africa first sounded the alarm.

Maor, who has complied with all the rules required of passengers, said he only had praise from the organizers of the PCR London Valves 2021 conference, who asked for proof of vaccination before allowing entry.

The conference was reportedly personally attended by 1,250 people.

A spokesman for the Europa Group, which organized the conference, told the Guardian that its priority was the well-being of attendees.

“All protocols mandated by the UK government were in place,” a spokesman said.

“Anyone entering the Congress center had to present a valid health pass and was requested to wear a mask.

“Hydro-alcoholic gel and masks were made readily available to all participants and disposal bins of used protective equipment were provided.”


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