Omicron has made it to the Pacific Northwest. Oregon’s first three cases of Omicron-variant COVID-19 have been confirmed in Washington and Multnomah counties, the Oregon Health Authority reported last Monday. As part of Oregon Health & Science University’s ongoing SARS-CoV-2 testing efforts, OHSU genomic sequencing has confirmed Oregon’s first three cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. OHSU PCR analysis initially flagged three samples as potential cases late last week after PCR analysis showed they had a feature known as the S-gene dropout. While not specific for the variant, the S-gene dropout is a potential indicator.
Full genomic sequencing was completed… and confirmed the cases involve the Omicron variant,” said Donna Hansel, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the OHSU Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, which detected the three cases.
The three patients are listed as:
A Multnomah County fully vaccinated resident in their 20s tested on Dec. 7. The individual traveled internationally to Canada prior to the symptom onset. Additional details on the condition of the individual are not yet available.
A fully vaccinated Washington County resident in their 20s tested on Dec. 9th. Additional details on the condition of the individual are not yet available.
A Washington County resident in their 30s, tested on Dec. 9, who was fully vaccinated. The individual traveled internationally to Mexico prior to symptom onset. Additional details on the condition of the individual are not yet available.
Governor Kate Brown states, “It was only a matter of time before we identified the first case of the Omicron variant in Oregon.” “As we continue to learn more about this new variant, we know the measures that are most effective in helping to keep ourselves and our families safe from Omicron, Delta, and other COVID-19 variants: get vaccinated, get your booster, and wear a mask. That’s the key to saving lives and keeping our businesses, schools, and communities open. If you aren’t yet vaccinated or need a booster dose, get an appointment or find a walk-in vaccine clinic in your area today,” the Governor added. Oregon ranks 11th nationwide in the proportion of all specimens sequenced during the pandemic.