Nevada‘s first case of the Omicron variant was discovered in Clark County, Southern Nevada Health District officials reported Tuesday afternoon.
The case was identified in a fully vaccinated woman in her mid-twenties who had not received a booster dose of the vaccine. Health district officials said the sample was tested by the Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory, which sequences positive cases in the community for additional cases of the variant.
“We knew it was only a matter of time to identify the Omicron variant in southern Nevada,” District health officer Dr Fermin Leguen said in a statement.
Cases of Omicron variants have now been identified in more than half of the states, with California reporting the first Omicron case in the country on December 1.
Health district officials noted that the Delta variant, which hit Nevada first this summer, remains the dominant variant circulating in Clark County and the United States. The latest variant report from the Nevada State Public Health Lab, dated November 23, showed the Delta variant to be responsible for 100% of sequenced cases in the state.
To tackle both the Omicron and Delta variants, state and local health officials are urging people to get the vaccine completely – that is, two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson vaccine and Johnson – and to receive their reminder when they become eligible, wear a mask in indoor public places and stay home and get tested if they are sick.
Scientists are still working to learn more about the Omicron variant, which was classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization on November 26. So far, some early evidence has suggested that the variant may be more resistant to the vaccine but may cause less severe cases of COVID.
Pfizer-BioNTech announced last week that while the initial two-dose treatment of the vaccine may not prevent infection with the Omicron variant, the booster appears to offer strong protection.
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