19 US states have now discovered the COVID-19 variant: Coronavirus Updates: NPR – Community News
Covid-19

19 US states have now discovered the COVID-19 variant: Coronavirus Updates: NPR

An international passenger arrives near a new rapid COVID-19 testing site for arriving international passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles on Friday.

Mario Tama/Getty Images


hide caption

switch caption

Mario Tama/Getty Images


An international passenger arrives near a new rapid COVID-19 testing site for arriving international passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles on Friday.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The rapidly spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus has now been reported in 50 countries and 19 states, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She added, “we expect that number to continue to increase.”

States that have detected the variant range from Hawaii to Texas to Massachusetts. The reports are part of a new wave of COVID-19 cases in the US that now surpasses 100,000 cases per day.

While officials and researchers are concerned about the portability of the ommicron variant, they also say it’s too early to know what toll it could take in the US.

Experts say it will likely be weeks before meaningful data on patient outcomes emerge from South Africa, which first reported the variant. The country has seen an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases in Gauteng province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

In what could be a source of cautious optimism, the South African Medical Research Council recently said that for the past two weeks, the majority of patients in hospitals’ COVID-19 wards have not required supplemental oxygen to breathe. The council also said many of the ommicron COVID-19 diagnoses stemmed from what are known as incidental findings – such as when a patient is tested after coming to the hospital for other reasons, such as surgery or pregnancy.

There are also important differences in conditions: in South Africa, for example, only about a third of the eligible population is fully vaccinated – much less than in the US

Walensky said Tuesday that while the number of omicron cases in the US is expected to rise, the latest data shows that more than 99% of genetically sequenced coronavirus samples showed the delta variant. She added that it is too early to know whether omicron will become dominant against delta or not.

About the author

Rakesh

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment