Los Angeles County has confirmed its second case of the omicron variant of COVID-19. The health department said it was likely that the student picked up the virus outside of LA County. The patient is a University of Southern California student who traveled to the East Coast over Thanksgiving, county health and USC officials confirmed Monday. The University of Southern California’s student newspaper The Daily Trojan reported it is one of their students.
Reported Dec. 3. was the first Omicron case that an individual had tested positive upon returning to LA County after traveling to South Africa via London. That fully vaccinated person had traveled Nov. 22 and tested positive Nov9. Omicron variant confirmed in 17 states across the US Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the Michigan chief medical executive from the state of Michigan talks about the surge of COVID-19 and omicron variant.
Unclear of true origins, omicron variant was first detected by scientists in South Africa, where it is believed to be the cause of a recent spike in cases in the Gauteng province. Because the variant was announced so recently, there is still much we don’t know about how it differs from other forms of COVID-19. Scientists worldwide are studying the omicron variant to gather more information. Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, described omicron as “the most heavily mutated version of the virus we have seen.”
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health stated, “While we can’t know for certain the impact of Omicron at this time, the good news is that we already know how to reduce transmission and slow spread using both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions. I encourage everyone to take the steps that we know offer protection, including getting vaccinated or boosted, tested if you feel sick or are a close contact, and wearing your mask indoors and at large mega events.”Officials also announced that free rapid COVID-19 tests will be given to international travelers arriving at the LAX international terminal.