The first cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Collin County have been identified in a Frisco lab (Ayass Bioscience) as of December 8.
The patients experiencing mild symptoms are two men in their 30s and 40s, respectively. Both already had two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but not the booster. Neither has traveled internationally as of late.
The news comes just days after a woman in Houston was confirmed to be the first case of the Omicron variant detected in Texas.
What else should you know?
Here’s what we know:
- The omicron variant originated in South Africa.
- While the omicron variant is a rapidly spreading variant with an increased risk of infection over previous variants, spreading twice as fast. According to Ayass Bioscience lab in Frisco, the variant has a large number of mutations: 60 mutations (with 30 on the spike protein), reportedly enhance its ability to infect people.
- Even though it’s highly transmissible, the omicron variant it is reportedly less severe than the Delta variant. The World Health Organization says that even while these observations are plausible, “information is limited.”
- With the prospects of holiday travel, medical experts stress the importance of practicing caution according to your risk and judgement: wearing masks, social distancing, avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces, and practice good hand hygiene.
- More guidelines concerning the omicron variant and notes on vaccine effectiveness from the WHO can be found here.
- Follow the mutation tracker from Ayass Bioscience to watch the geographic sequences and prevalence of the Omicron variant.