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Panama City, FL – Omicron in Florida: Tampa hospital reports first patient with new COVID-19 variant

Panama City, FL –

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay hospital on Tuesday announced its first confirmed case of the new omicron variant of COVID-19.

A spokesperson for the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa confirmed the omicron case in a statement to the WFLA.

“The patient is showing mild symptoms and recently returned from international travel,” the spokesperson said. “Our suppliers were able to quickly detect, test, confirm and add this data to our growing understanding of this strain.”

The VA email did not include the patient’s immunization status, but the spokesperson said vaccines are “the best tool we have for ensuring the continued health of the public.”

“It is essential that people get vaccinated as soon as possible,” she said. “While no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing disease, the COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States provide excellent protection against the COVID-19 variants that have caused outbreaks in the United States so far. and are particularly effective in preventing serious illness or death. of COVID-19. “

Variant B.1.1.529, widely known as omicron, was first identified by scientists in South Africa. The Associated Press reported that scientists have expressed concern about the new variant due to the high number of mutations in the spike protein of the virus, which could affect its ease of spread. In an attempt to control the spread of omicron in the United States, President Joe Biden announced travel restrictions for several countries

Although it was first reported in several other countries, cases of the omicron variant have since been identified in several states, including New York, California and Texas. Before any cases were reported in the United States, doctors in Tampa Bay told 8 On Your Side they thought the variant was already in Florida.

Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s foremost infectious disease expert and chief medical adviser to the president, said this week that the first indications suggest that omicron may be less dangerous than the delta variant.

Omicron in Florida: Tampa hospital reports first patient with new COVID-19 variant Source link Omicron in Florida: Tampa hospital reports first patient with new COVID-19 variant

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