Triple-jabbed doctor says he caught omicron in London before virus was known to be in UK

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A triple-vaccinated Israeli doctor who contracted the new omicron Covid variant says he is convinced he caught it in the UK.

Triple-jabbed doctor says he caught omicron in London before virus was known to be in UK
© AFP via Getty Images

Dr Maor is thought to have infected a colleague at Sheba Medical Centre

– AFP via Getty Images

Cardiologist Elad Maor is believed to have infected a colleague back at home who was also triple-jabbed, and both tested positive for the variant.

So far the doctors’ symptoms have been mild, according to the Sheba Medical Centre hospital near Tel Aviv.

Up to 30 omicron cases have now been detected in the UK.

Scientists don’t yet know whether it is more transmissible or leads to worse disease, but some fear it could be the most serious variant yet.

Dr Maor was at a three-day conference at the Excel London convention centre last month, with more than 1,200 other people, returning to Israel on 23 November.

He began experiencing symptoms within days, and tested positive on 27 November.

He and his colleague had both had the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, the hospital said.

Dr Maor, 45, told The Guardian he was sure he was one of the first people in the world to be infected with the new variant, saying: “I got the omicron in London, for sure. That is interesting because that was 10 days ago in London – really, really early.”

He said that although his wife accompanied him to London, neither she nor his children had experienced symptoms or tested positive for Covid.

Two other people in Israel have been identified as carrying the new variant, one of them a tourist from Malawi who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Israel shut its borders to foreigners from all countries for two weeks on Saturday to try to contain the spread of Omicron, and has reintroduced counterterrorism phone-tracking technology to trace contacts of a handful of people likely to have been infected.

“We have plenty of reason to think this could be the worst variant yet,” said Professor Christina Pagel, a member of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

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