Omicron Covid variant in no less than 15 states and instances are more likely to rise, CDC chief says

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, testifies throughout the Senate Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee listening to titled Subsequent Steps: The Highway Forward for the COVID-19 Response, in Dirksen Constructing on Thursday, November 4, 2021.

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At the least 15 states have detected the omicron coronavirus variant and that quantity is anticipated to rise, Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky instructed ABC Information on Sunday.

“We all know we’ve a number of dozen instances and we’re following them carefully. And we’re every single day listening to about increasingly more possible instances in order that quantity is more likely to rise,” Walensky stated on “This Week.”

The variant, first found in South Africa, has a number of mutations to the spike protein that permits the virus to enter the physique, and a few of these mutations may result in elevated antibody resistance and transmissibility. Scientists are nonetheless accumulating information on the virus and the effectiveness of present Covid-19 vaccines.

After being detected in a number of different international locations, the U.S. reported its first omicron case on Dec. 1. Whereas some sufferers had not too long ago traveled to southern Africa, others had no journey historical past. That means that group transmission is underway.

In an effort to stop the virus from seeding itself within the U.S., officers had at first restricted journey for non-U.S. residents from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the highest U.S. infectious illness official, stated Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he hopes that ban may be lifted in a “cheap time period.”

Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of instances within the U.S. are nonetheless caused by the delta variant.

“We have now about 90 to 100,000 instances a day proper now in the US, and 99.9% of them are the delta variant,” Walensky stated.