They said he developed mild symptoms on November 22 and requested a COVID-19 test on November 24 The person spoke to MDH investigators and said he traveled to New York and attended at the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center from November 18-20.
Event organizers estimated that 53,000 people attended the convention.
The patient was advised to isolate himself from others and his symptoms have since resolved.
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New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the state is in contact with Minnesota health officials and she encouraged everyone who attended the convention to get tested. “We knew this would happen in New York State at some point,” Hochul said. “We are ready for it. It’s not surprising. “
She said there had been no confirmed cases of the omicron variant in New York City, but said they were coming.
Minnesota epidemiologists are also investigating in collaboration with New York City and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The variant was found thanks to the MDH variant surveillance program, which experts consider to be one of the most powerful surveillance programs in the country.
Officials cited their robust virus surveillance system for allowing them to quickly identify the omicron once it entered the state and made it more likely that Minnesota would be among the first states to find the variant. .
“Since the onset of this pandemic, Minnesota’s state-of-the-art genome sequencing infrastructure and strong testing network have enabled the state to rapidly track the COVID-19 virus and better understand its spread,” said the Governor Tim Walz. “Today, these tools have detected a case of the omicron variant in Minnesota. This news is worrying, but it is not a surprise. We know that this virus is highly infectious and moves rapidly around the world. “
While omicron is classified by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern,” scientists are still working to determine how it can compare to the predominant delta variant in terms of transmissibility and severity of disease.
Scientists are also studying how well existing vaccines and therapies protect against omicron.
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According to Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, the new discovery underscores the importance of the continued efforts by all Minnesotans to limit the spread of COVID-19 in any form.
“We still have more to learn about omicron, but the most important thing we can do right now is use the tools at our disposal to make the spread of this virus as difficult as possible,” said Malcolm. “In addition to vaccination and boosters, we can slow the spread of this and all variants of COVID-19 by using the proven prevention methods of wearing masks, staying home when sick and to be tested if necessary. “
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