Omicron cases in the US mild so far, CDC report finds

The first few handfuls of omicron COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have been mostly mild, with one hospitalization and no deaths, according to the CDC's Dec. 10 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Twenty-two states had reported at least one case of the omicron variant between Dec. 1 — when the strain was first detected in the U.S. — and Dec. 8. Among 43 cases linked to the omicron variant for which details were available, one vaccinated patient required hospitalization for two days, and no deaths have been reported to date, according to the report. Cough, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose were the most commonly reported symptoms. Twenty-five of the documented cases, or 58 percent, were among people aged 18-39. 

Most of the omicron cases detailed in the report were among fully vaccinated people, including 14 who had received a booster dose. Of those who had received their booster, five people had gotten the dose less than two weeks before symptoms began. A total of six people had a previously documented COVID-19 infection. 

"Implementation of concurrent prevention strategies — including vaccination, masking, increasing ventilation, testing, quarantine and isolation — are recommended to slow transmission of SARS-CoV-2, including variants such as omicron, and to protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19," the report said. 

While many of the first reported cases of omicron appear to be mild, additional investigation is needed to better understand its clinical severity, CDC researchers said, adding "Even if most infections are mild, a highly transmissible variant could result in enough cases to overwhelm health systems." 

To view the full report, click here


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