5 cases of omicron variant identified in Alameda County, mild symptoms – .

5 cases of omicron variant identified in Alameda County, mild symptoms – .

Twelve Alameda County residents who attended a wedding in Wisconsin last week tested positive for COVID-19, and five of them were diagnosed with the omicron variant, health officials said on Friday.

The Alameda County Public Health Department said genomic sequencing data that identifies the variant is not yet available for all 12 cases.

One of the people attended the November 27 wedding after returning from an international trip.

All 12 people were fully vaccinated and most had received boosters, the department said. Their symptoms are mild and no one has been hospitalized. All 12 are between 18 and 49 years old

Close contacts are notified.

Much remains unknown about omicron, including whether it is more contagious, as some health officials suspect, whether it can thwart vaccines, and whether it makes people as sick as the original strain.

New cases of COVID-19 in South Africa, which first alerted the world to omicron last week, have risen from around 200 a day in mid-November to more than 16,000 on Friday.

The omicron variant was first identified in a U.S. resident in San Francisco on December 1 and has since been detected in a handful of other states so far, including New York, Colorado and Hawaii.

Some of the US cases involve people who had not traveled recently, meaning the variant was probably already circulating nationally in parts of the country.

Experts say the best protection against the variant is vaccination.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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