The omicron variant of COVID-19 has infected at least five people in Northern California, according to public health officials, and the outbreak is linked to a wedding in Wisconsin last month.
The outbreak was declared on Friday, just two days after the first omicron variant case in the United States was discovered in California. Much is unclear about the new strain, including if it is more infectious than earlier strains, whether it causes more serious illness, and whether it may evade the vaccination.
According to the Alameda County Department of Public Health, the five persons are among a group of 12 who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are related to a Nov. 27 wedding in Wisconsin, “which one of these individuals attended following return from foreign travel.”
The individuals were immunized and had “mildly symptomatic instances.” The remaining seven patients’ genomic sequencing has not yet been finished.
Public health officials have not stated where or when the individual traveled overseas, nor have they responded promptly to concerns regarding the Wisconsin wedding.
Officials stated that “most” of the 12 patients had gotten boosters; they range in age from 18 to 49 years old.
Late last month, the Biden administration restricted travel from southern Africa, where the variation was initially found and has spread widely. Clusters of instances have also been found in roughly a dozen other countries.
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