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The Omicron version of COVID-19, which was not detected in the US until the middle of this week, was discovered in at least five states by the end of Thursday, showing yet again how the virus’s mutations are speeding the world up. Can broadcast together and relax.

Just a day after the first known US case was found in California, tests showed that the Omicron variant had infected at least five people in the New York City metropolitan area, as well as one man from Minnesota in Manhattan in late November. I attended an anime convention.

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New York confirms 5 cases of Omicron coronavirus variant

A Colorado woman who had recently traveled to South Africa, a Hawaii resident with no recent travel history, and another California resident who traveled to South Africa last month were also infected with, officials said,

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Much is unknown about Omicron, including whether it is more contagious, as some health officials have suspected, whether it can thwart vaccines and whether it makes people as sick as the original strain. Is.

Health officials in each state said there was no cause for undue alarm. But the spread of cases, some involving people who had not been away from home until recently, meant that the version was already circulating domestically in parts of the US.

“We must recognize that there is more behind this and that it has been here for a meaningful time,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference with Gov.

The infected New Yorkers included a 67-year-old woman on Long Island who had recently traveled to South Africa, residents of Brooklyn and Queens, and another case possibly linked to travel. At least one person had received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but officials did not have details about the vaccination status in four other cases.

In Minnesota, health officials said a man who had not traveled outside the US began experiencing symptoms a day after attending the Anime NYC 2021 convention in New York City. Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said it was likely the man at the conference contracted COVID-19, but officials didn’t know for sure.

Officials in New York said they were working to trace attendees to the conference, which was held November 19-21 and was attended by about 50,000 people, according to the event’s organizers. Attendees were required to wear masks and show proof of having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This is Jacob’s. Javits Convention Center as New York City prepared to host the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and prepared to return after hordes of tourists. The US opened up the vaccine to international travelers.

City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi urged the people involved in the program to get tested.

White House says domestic travel vaccine needs are on the table due to Omicron version

“It’s not just people who are traveling to southern Africa or other parts of the world where Omicron has been identified,” Chokshi said on Thursday.

The Minnesota man began experiencing mild symptoms on November 22. According to health officials in his home state, he was vaccinated in early November and received a booster shot. Officials said he sought a COVID-19 test on November 24 and his symptoms subsided.

November 22 was the same day that the infected person in California’s first case returned to the US from South Africa. California traveler who was vaccinated Developed mild symptoms and was tested positive on Monday. The other person in the state did not require medical care and was also vaccinated.

An uninfected adult infected with the variant in Hawaii had contracted COVID-19 a year earlier. The man is not currently hospitalized and had “mild to moderate” symptoms including headache, body aches and cough, Hawaii epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble said.

She would not identify the patient to say that the person lived on the island of Oahu.

Omicron is classified as a “concern type” by the World Health Organization as scientists work to determine how it might compare with the major delta variant in terms of transmissibility and severity. Scientists are also studying the extent to which current vaccines and treatments protect against omicrons.

Scientists in South Africa reported it first, but the samples came from several countries in southern Africa. And health officials in the Netherlands now say it was found there before it was detected in South Africa.

As air travel returns to comfort, it’s inevitable that new variants like Omicron will spread from country to country and state to state, said Professor Danielle Ompad, an epidemiologist at New York University’s School of Global Public Health.

“We shouldn’t panic, but we should be worried,” she said.

Hochul said the case involving the visitor from Minnesota underscored the need for everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to receive a booster shot if they haven’t already.

“There’s a way to address this — New Yorkers, get vaccinated, get boosted, and get ready,” the Democrat said.