First cases of DC Omicron found in vaccinated young adults – NBC4 Washington



DC has confirmed its first cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant and officials say all four are young adults vaccinated, but they had yet to receive boosters.

The four residents, three women and a man, all tested positive after Thanksgiving weekend, DC Health said. Three of them had traveled for vacation and none of them left the United States.

“We all expected that if it was in the United States, he would appear in the district at some point,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “DC Health has been aggressive in sequencing our positive cases to identify any variant changes in the district. Delta continues to be the predominant variant in the district.”

Three of the residents tested positive on November 29 and 30 and the fourth person tested positive on December 7. None of them were hospitalized, DC Health said.

“All of these individuals had mild or asymptomatic symptoms,” said Patrick Ashley, deputy director of DC Health.

Health officials say while the numbers are concerning, the district is in a better place to deal with an increase than it was last year. News4’s Mark Segraves reports.

Ashley said the four of them have one important thing in common.

“They are all young adults. All of them have been vaccinated, but none of them have received a booster yet,” Ashley said.

One of the women had not received her booster while she was eligible, DC Health said. It is not clear if the other three were eligible.

Getting a booster is the best defense available to those vaccinated against the omicron variant, Ashley said.

“The vaccine is not as effective with omicron unless you are fully boosted,” he said.
“Individuals who are boosted have a higher degree of protection available to them.”

Georgetown University announced Monday that one of the confirmed cases was a member of its community. No information was released as to whether the person is a student, faculty member or staff member.

About 10% of positive COVID cases are sequenced to find what strain of the virus the person has, DC Health said.

The first known case of the omicron variant in Virginia was detected on December 9. Maryland announced its first three cases on December 3.

The omicron variant was first detected in Botswana and South Africa in November. It can spread more easily than other variants, including the delta, which causes almost all cases of coronavirus in the United States.

Currently, there is no evidence that omicron causes more serious illness, but people who have had COVID-19 in the past may be at higher risk for re-infection with omicron.

COVID-19 cases topped 50 million in the United States and more than 800,000 Americans have died, NBC News reported on Monday.


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