Omicron Variant

Private Lab Reports First Omicron Variant Case in Miami-Dade

The case was reported by a CardioPath, a private lab company that operates in the county

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The first case of the new COVID-19 omicron variant in Miami-Dade County was reported Friday.

The case was reported by a CardioPath, a private lab company that operates in the county.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava's office confirmed that the case was reported to local authorities and said the analysis to identify the variant case was done in a day and a half, which means that it is a recent case.

NBC 6 has reached out to the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade for more details.

The news comes just days after the first omicron patient in Florida was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first case was reported at a Tampa hospital, and a second case was reported in St. Lucie County.

Twenty-five U.S. states have detected cases of the new strain, a number that health officials expect to increase in the coming weeks, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a White House Covid briefing Friday.

Scientists are still racing to answer questions about omicron's transmissibility, severity and impact on vaccine efficacy. Meanwhile, state, commercial and academic labs across the U.S. are upping genome sequencing efforts to detect more cases of the variant.

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said scientists should have some data by the middle of next week that shows how well current vaccines stand up to the new variant, which contains dozens of mutations that generally make it more contagious.

Fauci said reports over last weekend from South Africa suggest omicron is not as severe as initially feared, while noting that more data is needed to fully assess the risk posed by the variant.

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