The first case of the latest coronavirus variant called omicron has been found in California, according to the CDC.
The infected person was traveling from South Africa, where the omicron was first discovered, and returned to the states on November 22. The patient has been fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms that are improving. Test results close to them have come back negative, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The genetic sequencing, which is used to identify variants of the coronavirus, was performed at the University of California, San Francisco and confirmed at the CDC. Tests showed that the infection was compatible with the omicron variant.
It is the first confirmed case of omicron in the United States. The variant has been discovered in more than a dozen other countries.
Little is known about the variant and scientists are still working to determine whether it is infectious, severe, or immune evading.
Omicron contains several mutations in the virus’ spike protein, which public health experts have said is worrisome and appears to have spread rapidly in South Africa where very few people are vaccinated.