Photo Credit: NIAID / NIH
SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus, COVID-19

The highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant has arrived in the United Nations, according to a statement Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A traveler who returned to the US after a visit to South Africa was diagnosed November 29 in San Francisco, California with the new variant.

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“The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive,” the CDC statement read.

“The California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health have confirmed that a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the Omicron variant.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Adviser to the President, told reporters at
a news briefing Wednesday that to his knowledge, the infected individual was vaccinated but had not received a booster shot.

“The individual is self-quarantining, and all contacts have been contacted and all close contacts thus far, have tested negative,” he said.

“We knew it was just a matter of time before the first case of Omicron would be detected in the United States,” he added. “We know what we need to do to protect people: get vaccinated, if you’re not already vaccinated. Get boosted if you’ve been vaccinated for more than six months.”

Omicron has been found in at least 20 other countries around the world.

Travelers are now being required by the CDC to show a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test carried out within one day of departure prior to entering the country.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.