US reports first death due to Omicron variant—an unvaccinated man in his 50s

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 21, 2021, 03:54 PM(IST)

Omicron now accounts for 73 per cent of new Covid cases, a rise of about 3 per cent since last week Photograph:( AFP )

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The deceased is a man in his 50s from Texas and was reportedly unvaccinated. He was previously infected with COVID-19

United States has reported its first death due to Omicron variant of COVID-19, health officials said.

The deceased is a man in his 50s from Texas and was reportedly unvaccinated. He was previously infected with COVID-19, according to a release from Harris County Public Health.

The case is the first known confirmed Omicron-related death in the United States, CNN reported on Monday.

“The individual was at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19 due to his unvaccinated status and had underlying health conditions,” the release said.

County judge Lina Hidalgo tweeted that the man was the first local fatality from the variant.

Also read | Omicron: Within a week, the strain increased from 3% to 73% of US COVID-19 cases

The Omicron variant replaced Delta to become the dominant strain that is triggering a new wave of infections in the country, US’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

It now accounts for 73 per cent of new Covid cases, a rise of about 3 per cent since last week.

It’s responsible for an estimated 90 per cent of new infections in New York area, the south-east, the industrial midwest and the Pacific north-west.

Also read | Omicron: Thailand may reintroduce mandatory quarantine for foreign travellers 

The Delta variant, which was the prevalent strain of the virus in the United States until last week, has now dropped to about 27 per cent of sequenced cases.

The reports of new Omicron -related cases are in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) prediction which warned that the new variant would spread faster than the Delta.

"And it is more likely people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 could be infected or re-infected,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The new variant was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on November 25. And a day later, it was designated as a ‘variant of concern’

The mutant has since shown up in about 90 countries.

(With inputs from agencies)

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