CDC: First few U.S. omicron cases report mild symptoms; most have hit the fully vaccinated

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday shows that the handful of omicron cases reported in the United States have been relatively mild, but the majority of the cases were seen in those who are fully vaccinated.

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There has been one reported hospitalization that lasted two days, attributed to the new variant. Most people have reported mild symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, fatigue and congestion, the study said.

The variant has been identified in 29 states as of Monday.

The report, published on Friday, looked at 43 people in 25 states who had been confirmed to have the new coronavirus variant. According to the study, the majority of those with the virus were between the ages of 18 and 39. Only four cases were reported in people over age 65.

Of the 43, more than 75% were fully vaccinated. A third of those diagnosed had had a booster shot. There were six people who had already had a COVID-19 infection and 33% had recently traveled internationally.

According to the CDC, it can take several days or weeks before severe symptoms appear in some people, and the symptoms reported in the study would be expected to be milder in vaccinated people and in those with a previous coronavirus infection, the report noted.

“I know we all remain concerned about where we are in the pandemic both with delta and now with the omicron variant,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during the White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing.

“CDC has been actively addressing and evaluating the omicron variant and working with state and local jurisdictions to understand its spread.”

The omicron variant of the coronavirus was first identified in southern Africa and Hong Kong in late November. The delta variant, which began to spread in the U.S. in the spring, accounts for more than 99% of all U.S. cases.