Omicron variant of COVID-19 detected for 1st time in New Hampshire resident – WMUR Manchester

Variant detected in resident who had traveled out of state
Variant detected in resident who had traveled out of state
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Variant detected in resident who had traveled out of state
The omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected for the first time in a New Hampshire resident, health officials said Monday.

Health officials said the person is an adult from Cheshire County who traveled out of state and was exposed to another person who later tested positive for the omicron variant.
Officials said the resident was fully vaccinated but not yet boosted. They said the resident had a mild illness and has since recovered during home isolation. The person’s close contacts are taking precautions, officials said.
>> Related: Ask Dr. Benjamin Chan your COVID-19 questions
The omicron variant, like other variants, can be detected through a genetic sequencing test that’s separate from a regular COVID-19 test. Health officials said the person’s test sample was prioritized because the PCR test showed a pattern that can indicate the omicron variant.
Most COVID-19 infections in the state are due to the delta variant, health officials said, but the omicron variant is thought to be more infectious and might eventually become the predominant strain.
Early research has shown that the omicron variant might be able to cause more breakthrough cases in vaccinated people and be more likely to infect people who already had COVID-19. Laboratory testing has shown that booster shots may be able to provide more protection against omicron than the standard vaccination series.
“Anybody 5 years of age or older should get vaccinated against COVID-19, including people who were previously infected with COVID-19,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “And people who have already completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series should get a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to have optimal protection against both the currently circulating delta variant, and the new emerging omicron variant.”
Research is ongoing to determine just how easily omicron can spread and whether it tends to cause more severe or milder illness. Dr. Artemio Mendoza at Wentworth Douglass Hospital said the world is in “uncharted territory.”
“Whether this is really the thing or it is yet to rear its ugly head, who knows?” Mendoza said.
The detection of omicron in New Hampshire was not unexpected. At least 25 U.S. states have reported omicron infections since the variant was first reported in South Africa. Health officials said it’s likely the variant had spread to many parts of the world by the time it was first reported.
** Town-by-town: COVID-19 case data | Vaccination data **

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