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As US Confirms First Omicron Case, CDC Works To Step Up Testing Requirements

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Wednesday, the U.S confirmed its first case of covid caused by the new Omicron variant, found in a fully vaccinated patient in California.

"We knew it was just a matter of time," said Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The individual traveled from South Africa on November 22 and has mild symptoms. The person is self-quarantining.

"You can't really take anything away from a single patient—we feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms but actually the symptoms appear to be improving," said Dr. Fauci.

The CDC is currently working to step up covid testing requirements for travel to the United States. Here in the state of Florida, the Florida Health Department said they are ready to mitigate COVID-19 through prevention and treatment.

In Miami Dade County, they have started randomized sequencing.

"If your test is positive then you will be in the possible pool for randomized sampling. Those random samples of positive tests will be sent to the lab for sequencing and that will determine if it's a delta, omicron, or something else," said Miami Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Dr. Geeta Nayyar, an Associate Professor with the University of Miami said its not time to panic, but its time to vaccinate and boost.

Medical experts said the omicron variant has 30 mutations in the key spike protein, the vital structure that coronavirus uses to attack cells.
These experts fear the heavily- mutated variant could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and

"The treatments we have available are really In question as well we are hopeful and remain optimistic. We are waiting for scientists to find out more," said Dr. Nayyar.

The World Health Organization advised people at higher risk of contracting Covid-19, including people over 60 who have certain conditions or are unvaccinated , to postpone travel due to this variant.


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