World Health Organization declared Omicron (a new variant of COVID-19) a “Variant of concern,” and now, three days later, the U.S. SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group followed suit.

Omicron’s first case was reported from South Africa on November 24. 

It cited multiple factors, including its largCOVID-19 variant, and that it has caused the “displacement of Delta in South Africa.” Delta is the only other variant of concern that the CDC recognizes.

CDS confirmed that, as of today, the Omicron had not been detected in the U.S., but the President and others have recently said that it is only a matter of time.

In a post on Twitter, CDS Twitted:

 

 

On 11/30, the U.S. government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group classifies #OmicronVariant as Variant of Concern (VOC), a decision based on multiple factors. No cases of this variant have been identified in U.S. to date. CDC is closely following details.

 

Here is the Section of the WHO announcement:

In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 2021.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.

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