WASHINGTON, D.C. – DECEMBER 01: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, delivers an update on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the daily press briefing at the White House on December 01, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
UPDATED 6:11 PM PT – Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The first known case of the COVID Omicron variant in the U.S. has been detected in California.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the announcement on Wednesday and said the infected individual is fully vaccinated, has mild symptoms and is self-quarantining. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the individual had returned from South Africa to the San Francisco Bay area on Nov. 22.
This comes as no surprise as health officials anticipated the variant would spread to the U.S. after initially being detected in South Africa last week.
Scientists have said Omicron could be more contagious, but it’s unclear whether the variant is more dangerous. It is also unclear how effective COVID-19 vaccines are against this strain of the virus.