It was his last day in New York. He had an exciting four-day in-person encounter for the first time with friends he made online during the pandemic. They explored the busy streets of New York together and saw anime shows at the Anime NYC convention.
“During my time there, I walked all over New York. So personally I just thought I was just exhausted from walking a lot, not getting a lot of sleep, eating badly enough, ”McGinn said. “I thought it was all catching up with me. “
McGinn didn’t think twice about his fatigue until he returned home to Minnesota on November 22. Later that day, he received a group text from someone he had spent time with in New York City. They texted the group they had Covid-19.
McGinn had a quick home test the next day. He tested positive.
McGinn’s diagnosis of Covid-19 was confirmed by a PCR test and lab results revealed that he was infected with the newly identified variant of the Omicron coronavirus.
He now wants to be a “resource” to the public and public health, and points out that if he hadn’t been fully vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and boosted with a booster dose of Moderna, he would have may have had a more serious illness.
“The main reason I wanted to express myself and be a resource was the unknown to the new variant,” said McGinn. “I worked with the Minnesota Department of Health in terms of contact tracing with the contacts I was with in New York. “
Of the 30 people McGinn said he spent time with in New York City, a total of 15 – including him – tested positive for Covid-19, and they all had mild symptoms, except for one who , according to McGinn, “had a bad day” but did. no need for hospitalization.
Only one person, other than McGinn, has been confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant, but McGinn said when he spoke with health officials they told him it was extremely likely that all people tested positive. may have been infected with Omicron.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so far contacted more than 35,000 people who attended a recent anime convention in New York City.
The agency encourages these anime enthusiasts to get tested for Covid-19.
The CDC joined in investigations into the possible spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant at the Anime NYC 2021 convention held last month, helping with contact tracing among the tens of thousands of convention attendees. , CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said during a virtual briefing at the White House. Tuesday. The convention took place at the Javits Center from November 18-22.
These contact tracing efforts – arguably the largest in the country to involve Omicron – could contain clues as to how easily and quickly this variant can spread.
“Of the 53,000 reported people who attended this conference, over 35,000 and over were contacted to encourage testing for all participants,” Walensky said. “The data from this survey will likely provide some of the first insights in this country on the transmissibility of the variant. “
The Minnesota Department of Health announced last week that it had identified the nation’s second case of Covid-19 caused by Omicron in a resident who recently traveled to New York and attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention from November 19 to 21. The first US case, also announced last week, has been identified in California and health officials expect to find more cases of the variant as genetic sequencing continues across the country.
“More recently, the CDC is assisting the Minnesota and New York departments of health in investigating among attendees at a recent Anime New York City convention and has now contacted all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, and 27 other countries with residents who were present to inform them of this ongoing investigation, ”Walensky said Tuesday.
Last week, following the identification of the Omicron variant in the Minnesota man who traveled to New York and attended the anime convention, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the participants to get tested for Covid-19 as quickly as possible.
“We should assume that there is a community spread of the variant in our city,” de Blasio said in a statement at the time. He added that the conference required masks and vaccination.
McGinn said he felt safe at the conference – and about 99.9% of people he saw were wearing their masks – but added that the convention only required people to fill at least one dose. a Covid-19 vaccine. The convention’s website notes, “You can attend immediately after your first dose. “
McGinn, who has said he will attend the convention again, said that the next time he hopes the event requires attendees to be fully immunized, meaning they must be finished two weeks after they are completed two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Organizers noted that all convention attendees should receive emails or phone calls from their local health departments or the NYC Test and Trace Corps, which performs testing and tracing contacts, with further information.