Home » Health » Nebraska omicron cluster suggests faster onset of symptoms

Nebraska omicron cluster suggests faster onset of symptoms

Healthcare workers prepare for Covid-19 tests at a Nomi Health testing site in Omaha, Nebraska on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

Dan Brouillette | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An investigation into a cluster of omicron infections in Nebraska suggests that the heavily mutated variant has a shorter incubation period and causes similar or milder symptoms compared to earlier variants for people vaccinated or previously infected, according to the Centers. for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.

The CDC on Tuesday released the results of an epidemiological investigation into six confirmed cases of omicron in a single Nebraska household.

A 48-year-old man who returned to the United States on November 23 after a conference in Nigeria developed symptoms a day later and tested positive for the virus on November 26. The man, who was unvaccinated and had a history of symptoms of infection in 2020, reported that he did not wear a mask when in close contact with a masked individual who was coughing at the international conference of the November 20.

The man underwent an antigen test before returning to the United States and the results came back negative on November 21. Upon his return to the United States, he was still asymptomatic and had close contact with five of his family in Nebraska without wearing a mask. November 23.

The five members of his household, at least one of whom was only 11 years old, developed symptoms from November 24-26 and subsequently tested positive. Four of them had a history of symptomatic infection in 2020, one of which was fully vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer.

Another person in the household was not vaccinated and had never tested positive for Covid before. However, this person experienced mild upper respiratory symptoms in November 2020 before other household members were first infected.

The CDC said it took 33 to 75 hours, a median of around 3 days, for household members to show symptoms after being exposed to the man who traveled, suggesting a longer incubation period. short with the omicron. The median incubation period for Covid is 5 days or more, while the delta variant normally takes around 4 days for symptoms to appear, according to the CDC.

Household members who were re-infected experienced fewer symptoms compared to their first infections in November 2020, according to the CDC. Two of them reported fevers after infection, neither reported loss of taste or smell.

The unvaccinated person who had not previously tested positive suffered from cough, joint pain, congestion, fever and chills. No one in the household had to be hospitalized after testing positive for omicron, and none had any underlying health issues or compromised immune systems. The re-infected people also did not need hospitalization after their first infections in 2020.

The first confirmed case of omicron was reported on December 1 in the San Francisco area by public health authorities in California. The individual was returning from a trip to South Africa. However, the CDC later found someone who reported symptoms on November 15 after international travel, indicating that the variant could have arrived in the United States sooner.

Omicron was first identified by South Africa and Botswana in November. The variant now accounts for 58% of sequenced cases in the United States while the delta accounts for about 41% of cases, according to the CDC.

A growing body of data from South Africa and the UK indicates that people are not getting as sick from the omicron as they are from the delta variant. The British Health Safety Agency found that people infected with omicron were 50 to 70% less likely to require hospitalization. South African scientists found that people infected with omicron were 70% less likely to develop serious illness.

However, the study authors cautioned against reading the preliminary data too deeply, as vaccination and immunity to a previous infection may have influenced the results.

Another study by the UK Health Security Agency found that a booster dose of Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine provides 75% protection against symptomatic illnesses caused by omicron. South African data suggests that two doses of the Pfizer vaccine still protect against serious illness, but are much less effective at preventing omicron infection.

In the United States, new cases of Covid are reaching peaks close to pandemic. The country reported an average of more than 237,000 new cases daily for the seven-day period ending Monday, up 66% from last week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

In the United States, more than 70,000 people are currently hospitalized with Covid, up 3% over the past week, according to a seven-day average of Department of Health and Human Services data as of December 27.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.