(Washington) A case of the Omicron variant was detected Thursday in Minnesota, United States, in a person who had traveled to New York, but had not recently traveled abroad as in the first case confirmed the day before .
This announcement thus indicates that the variant has started to be transmitted between people in the United States.
Health officials in the Midwestern state have confirmed they have detected this variant in a man vaccinated against COVID-19, who also received a booster dose.
This individual “developed mild symptoms on November 22 and was tested on November 24,” said health authorities, adding that he was now cured.
The man had traveled to New York for a gathering dedicated to Japanese animated films (“anime”) a few days before.
The mayor of New York City said Thursday that residents should “consider the variant circulating” in the city now.
US health officials had expected Omicron to be detected in the country for several days.
This news “is not a big surprise”, commented in a statement the governor Tim Walz, praising the capacities of sequencing in his state.
On Wednesday, a first case was confirmed in a person also vaccinated, but who was returning from South Africa, where the new variant was first detected.
Omicron has been classified as “of concern” by the World Health Organization, and studies are underway to determine if and to what extent it is found to be more contagious or more resistant to vaccines.