Another Omicron case has been discovered in the US, this time in a Minnesota resident who had traveled to NYC

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Minnesota health officials said Thursday that a man living in the state was infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The man, who officials said had recently traveled to New York City, represents the second known case of the variant in the United States.

Leaders in Minnesota said the discovery wasn’t surprising, crediting robust disease surveillance systems to finding it.

“This news is alarming, but it’s no surprise,” Governor Tim Walz said in a statement. “We know that this virus is highly contagious and is spreading rapidly around the world. Minnesotans know what to do to keep each other safe now — get the vaccine, get tested, wear a mask indoors, and get a booster.

Much is still unknown about Omicron, including whether it is more transmissible and capable of causing more serious diseases. There is some evidence that the variant can re-infect people more easily.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the man is a resident of Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis. He was vaccinated and no longer feels any symptoms, the department said.

The man first developed mild symptoms on Nov. 22, shortly after traveling to New York City for the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center, the department said. The announcement did not indicate whether the man had recently been elsewhere.

He was tested for the virus on November 24. The state public health lab determined that he had the Omicron variant. Minnesota officials said they were working with New York City and federal health officials to investigate the case, and the man has spoken with case investigators.

On Wednesday, California health officials announced that a San Francisco resident was infected with the Omicron variant — a finding they said was inevitable as they worked to raise the alarm about the variant’s discovery in the United States.

Experts have said that since the Omicron variant was first identified, it was only a matter of time before the variant made its way to the United States, and that once a case was discovered, many more would likely be found soon. .

“I’m personally surprised it took so long” for the first case to appear, said Dr. Bob Wachter, a professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said Wednesday. “Today it’s California, tomorrow it’s several other states.”

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