How scientists in San Francisco found the first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant in the United States

SAN FRANCISCO — The first case of the coronavirus omicron variant in the United States was confirmed at 4 a.m. Wednesday after an all-night session by scientists here.

The city's tightly connected network of public health and university medical center researchers worked together to confirm an infection reported six days earlier was indeed omicron. As soon as the results came in, they were quickly communicated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The case began on Nov. 22, when a traveler flew into San Francisco International Airport from South Africa, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference.

The person, a San Francisco resident who was not identified, did not develop COVID-19 symptoms until Thanksgiving Day. Two days later, on Nov. 28, they were tested and got the results back the next day. Positive.

Despite feeling ill, they went out of their way to contact the San Francisco Department of Public Health to alert officials about the positive test, and that they had recently been in South Africa.

“They did the right thing and got tested and reported their travel history,” Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s director of public health, said at the news conference.

The person had received the full two-dose course of the Moderna vaccine but no booster. They had mild symptoms and have recovered but are still self-quarantining. Public health officials have reached out to close contacts, all of whom have so far tested negative, the CDC said.

Because the patient had come from South Africa, which has a large number of known omicron cases, the city’s medical community was on high alert for cases among recent arrivals from that country.

“I heard about it yesterday at about 3 p.m.,” Dr. Charles Chiu said Wednesday. His laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, did the analysis. Chiu is an infectious disease specialist and director of the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center.

Dr. Charles Chiu, director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center. Chiu’s lab identified the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in the United States on Dec. 1, 2021.

A nose swab sample from the patient arrived at 10 p.m. Tuesday, and Chiu’s lab ran a very fast molecular test that looked for what’s known as an S gene dropout, where the spike gene isn’t detected on the test.

The test came back within two hours and showed the person had been infected with a drop-out variant. The S gene dropout is found with both the alpha and omicron coronavirus variants, so the test only indicated it might be omicron, but didn't prove it.

“To confirm this finding, we needed to sequence the viral genome,” said Chiu. Using a pocket-sized gene sequencer, his lab assembled the variant’s entire genome within eight hours.

At 4 a.m. in San Francisco, the results were in and the first case of omicron was discovered in the United States. The CDC was alerted within two hours.

Officials caution it’s unlikely the case was the country's actual first, simply the first identified.

“We knew that it was just a matter of time,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert.

Contact Elizabeth Weise at eweise@usatoday.com

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How the first US case of the omicron COVID-19 variant was found

News Related

OTHER NEWS

US calls Security Council meeting over Ukraine, steps up pipeline warnings alongside Germany

© Pool, Reuters The United States and Germany on Thursday warned Russia that a major gas pipeline was at stake if it invades Ukraine as Washington voiced hope for a ... Read more »

Government watchdog says key federal health agency is failing on crises

The Government Accountability Office said “persistent deficiencies” at the Department of Health and Human Services “have hindered the nation’s response" to the pandemic and previous threats. Read more »

Fed up of gym exercises, actress Rambha takes a break

© IANS Rambha takes a break from gym. Chennai, Jan 27 (IANS) One of Tamil and Telugu cinema’s most popular actresses Rambha, who is now happily settled with her family ... Read more »

Redmi Smart Band Pro set for February 9 launch alongside Redmi Note 11S, here is what we know about it

Redmi is set to launch its first phone in India for this year in the form of the Redmi Note 11S. Scheduled for February 9, the device will debut alongside ... Read more »

Kapil Sharma recalls losing weight for 'Firangi', says 'Akshay Kumar ban gaya tha main'

© Provided by DNA Popular comedian-host Kapil Sharma is all geared up for his upcoming special ‘Kapil Sharma: I’m Not Done Yet‘, which will be out on the OTT platform ... Read more »

Check out Malaika Arora's three face yoga poses to get glowing skin and fight ageing: Watch video

Actor and fitness enthusiast Malaika Arora, who is dating Arjun Kapoor, credits her healthy lifestyle and enviable body to yoga. The star not only stays in shape with the help ... Read more »

Try These 3-Minute Workouts by Rujuta Diwekar to Get Rid of Body Ache and Pain

© Provided by News18 Try These 3-Minute Workouts by Rujuta Diwekar to Get Rid of Body Ache and Pain Undoubtedly, keeping up with physical fitness during the difficult time of ... Read more »

Not All Infants Need to Administered Antibiotics, Concludes New Study

© Provided by News18 Not All Infants Need to Administered Antibiotics, Concludes New Study Antibiotics are widely preferred for newborns at the time of delivery. However, a recently conducted study ... Read more »

Risk of Heart Damage Increases in Covid-19 Recovered Patients: Experts

© Provided by News18 Risk of Heart Damage Increases in Covid-19 Recovered Patients: Experts The patients, who have recovered from Covid-19 infections, face higher risk of heart-related diseases. According to ... Read more »

11 Innovative Products That Became Famous And Successful After Appearing On 'Shark Tank'!

© Provided by Indiatimes In 2009, Shark Tank premiered on ABC, and little did anyone know that it would change the fate of many. Shark Tank is an American franchise of ... Read more »

5 Side Effects of Consuming Bathua Leaves in Excess

© Provided by News18 5 Side Effects of Consuming Bathua Leaves in Excess While green vegetables are considered good for health in every way, there are certain things whose excessive ... Read more »

5 Exercises That Might Harm You in the Long Run According to Fitness Expert

© Provided by News18 5 Exercises That Might Harm You in the Long Run According to Fitness Expert If you are a beginner who has recently started his/her fitness journey ... Read more »

Try These Simple Practices To Beat Insomnia

© Provided by News18 Try These Simple Practices To Beat Insomnia Indisputably, the fast-paced urban lifestyle has given rise to insomnia and poor sleeping habits, which results in feeling tired ... Read more »

50 percent of people positive during first Covid wave may have this lasting effect

© Provided by DNA Early findings from a new post Covid research in the European country of Sweden suggests that infection in the first may have left a lasting impairment ... Read more »

How to treat post-Covid fatigue

© Provided by India Today Q. Why does Covid cause weakness? Covid has many reversible and irreversible symptoms, and which symptoms a person has is still difficult to ascertain from ... Read more »

What are the Side Effects Of Cough Syrup? Read Here

© Provided by News18 What are the Side Effects Of Cough Syrup? Read Here The market is flooded with a bunch of cough syrups, Benadryl, Cheston, Honitus, Ascoril to name ... Read more »

5 star worthy ingredients to trust for life for smoother and glowing skin

Is your skin living its healthy best life? With innumerable products hitting shelves like there’s no end, it’s hard not to be swept with its beauty. Here’s when we fail ... Read more »

Hike in reverse repo rate likely in early February

A reverse repo rate hike in the coming monetary policy is a fait accompli given that the overnight call rates have surged past the rate the RBI provides banks for ... Read more »

'I compared Tesco, Lidl and M&S chocolate spread to Nutella and one was better than the original'

When you’re feeling really lazy and need a quick snack, Nutella on toast is a great go-to. It’s quick, easy and downright delicious. But sometimes the shops will be sold ... Read more »

Ómicron: “Eras positivo y no me avisaste”

© DADO RUVIC FOTO: REUTERS/ILUSTRACIÓN Ómicron “ha conquistado al mundo” por su alta transmisibilidad y capacidad de evadir la inmunidad natural e inducida por las vacunas. La infección por Ómicron ... Read more »

Appeals court mulls arguments on South Carolina abortion law

The Associated PressSouth Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster holds up a bill banning almost all abortions in the state after he signed it into law on Feb. 18, 2021, in Columbia, ... Read more »

Vegan dog food trend on the rise in NI

January once again sparked Veganuary with many people ditching meat for the month to improve waistlines and help the environment. But instead of heading into February with a blow-out steak ... Read more »

This Type of Cooking Oil Can Add Years to Your Life, According to Researchers

Any chef will tell you that fat is one of the four basic elements of good cooking. Fat gives food important flavor, moisture, and mouthfeel. It can withstand high temperatures ... Read more »

Some couples can't agree on COVID-19 safety, including socialization, masking practices, and beliefs about the vaccine

© Courtesy of Amy Klein Some couples can’t agree on mask wearing during the pandemic, including the author, left, and her husband. Courtesy of Amy Klein My husband is a ... Read more »

This dad's pictures of inadequate school lunch went viral. A registered dietitian says parents can make a difference in school nutrition.

© Provided by INSIDER The school is already working with parents and students to create more appetizing menus. Courtesy of Chris Vangellow Chris Vangellow’s four children were complaining of bland ... Read more »

Think a Daily Glass of Wine Is Good for You? New Report Says You Might Want to Reconsider

© Westend61 – Getty Images A new report says no amount of alcohol is good for your heart. Controversial new research from the World Health Federation details the benefits and ... Read more »

TikTok star Addison Rae wants her fans to stop using social media to 'mask themselves' and focus on positivity instead

© Provided by INSIDER Addison Rae is the fourth most-followed TikToker. Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment / Getty Images TikTok star Addison Rae spoke to Insider about the pitfalls of her huge ... Read more »

What Is Pastrami And How Is It Different Than Corned Beef?

© Mike_Sheridan – Getty Images Here’s what you need to know about pastrami, the historic sandwich staple, and how it differs from its slightly less luxurious cousin, corned beef. You ... Read more »

All The Nuts You Can (And Cannot) Eat On Keto

When you’re on the keto diet, it’s easy to spend a lot of time obsessing about the things you can’t have, like OG-style ice cream and bagels. But nuts are ... Read more »

This Is the Type of Coffee Most Closely Linked to Longevity, According to a Healthy Aging Expert

A fact that many of us have been well-aware of for, well, a while: Coffee is an elixir of life. But according to Dan Buettner, an expert on longevity, National ... Read more »

New Yorkers 'have a legitimate fear' after recent subway-shoving attacks, but transit experts say the perception of danger clashes with reality

© Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images Times Square — 42 St. subway station in NYC with an old vintage inscription mosaic sign on the wall from tiles with symbols in ... Read more »

These Are the Anti-Inflammatory Foods That the Longest-Living People on the Planet Eat Every Day

© Photo: Stocksy/Nataša Mandić anti-inflammatory foods for longevity At all interested in the science of longevity? Chances are, you’ve heard of the Blue Zones. Heavily studied by founder Dan Buettner, ... Read more »

Scientists figured out a way for dozens of frogs to fully regenerate amputated legs, and say it's an early step in one day helping humans regrow limbs

© DeAgostini/Getty Images Scientists have figured out a way to regrow limbs on African clawed frogs DeAgostini/Getty Images A group of scientists used drug treatments to regrow legs on African ... Read more »

Britney Spears said fiancé Sam Asghari makes her 'feel like the luckiest girl in the world.' Here's a timeline of their 5-year relationship.

© J. Merritt/Getty Images Britney Spears and Sam Asghari at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on April 12, 2018. J. Merritt/Getty Images Britney Spears and ... Read more »

5 women describe having a miscarriage in public, from the voting line to Costco

© Linn Washington Zakiya Barnett, far right, with other women featured in “Stories we tell: The Infertility Secret.” Linn Washington About 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, but the ... Read more »

Marvel star Evangeline Lilly calls COVID-19 vaccine mandates 'not safe' and reveals she attended a protest to 'support bodily sovereignty' in DC

© Provided by INSIDER Evangeline Lilly attends the Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California. Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney ... Read more »

Let's Break Down the New Cannabis and COVID-19 Research

© Photo: Stocksy/ Blue Collectors Anonymous woman using oil We’ve been through several iterations of deeply misguided COVID-19 “treatment” rumors. Who can forget the thoroughly debunked notion that taking horse medicine might ... Read more »

Disney movies helped my son, who has a neurological disorder, to communicate with me

© Provided by INSIDER Debbie Feit My son was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech at age 2. He had speech therapy four times a week to help him learn ... Read more »

These Anti-Inflammatory Honey Nut Bars Are the Protein-Rich Breakfast Made for Those On-the-Go

© Art: W+G Creative honey nut breakfast bars As a nutrition coach and Barry’s Bootcamp instructor, Sashah Handal‘s mornings are pretty crazed. Even if you aren’t starting your day by ... Read more »

Covid jabs for vulnerable five to 11-year-olds to start within days

The roll-out of Covid jabs for vulnerable five to 11-year-olds is set to start within days. NHS England confirmed the vaccine roll-out would start by the end of the month, ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic