Fourth Omicron LA Case
Only one hospitalization and no deaths from Omicron so far in the United States
December 16, 2021
Alyssa Erdley Observer Staff Writer
12.9.21 - The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced a fourth case of Covid-19 via the Omicron variant today. "This latest case is a possible result of local transmission," according to the press release. That means they are unable to trace the infection of another location, such as travel from West Africa or the East Coast, as they have done with the previous three infections.
The present individual with the Omicron variety of Covid has mild symptoms. They are not only vaccinated, but received a booster shot. Multiple close contacts of this individual have also tested positive for Covid but it is unknown yet whether they are infected with the Omicron variant.
As of December 4, Omicron had been found in 19 US states. According to USA Today, 75% of the Omicron infections in the United States are in vaccinated individuals. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, told the Associated Press on December 7 that there are some 40-plus people known to be infected with the Omicron variant in the United States. Three-quarters of this number were vaccinated and a third of them had also received a booster shot. So far only one case has required hospitalization and no deaths have been reported.
Pfizer said on December 7 that their vaccine may not be sufficient to protect against infection from Omicron. However, they believe their present two-dose vaccine will possibly provide protection from a severe case of the disease. They posited that a third dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine should provide the same level of protection against infection by Omicron as two doses provided against infection by previous variants of Covid-19.
Presently, vaccines do not appear to be protecting that well against transmission of the Delta variant in Los Angeles County. During the period between November 15 and November 27, 64.9% of new Covid cases were found among the vaccinated population.
Mvuyisi Mzukwa, the vice chair of The South African Medical Association told CNN on Dec. 1 that "We have not seen that much of hospitalization" from Omicron. However, of those hospitalized, he estimated 90% were unvaccinated. The vaccination rate in South Africa is under 25%.