Digital Desk, San Francisco. Test results from a California wastewater sapling have revealed a startling fact about the Omicron variant. In fact, this test has shown that it was present in this US state even before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Omicron as a variant of concern. The Omicron variant was detected in a wastewater sample collected in Merced County on November 25, the California Department of Public Health said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
The information was received a day after South Africa reported the variant to WHO, and a day before the agency declared the variant of concern to Omicron, Xinhua news agency quoted The Los Angeles Times as saying. The Los Angeles Times said the discovery reinforces observations by scientists in recent weeks that Omicron was rapidly spreading around the world even before information about Omicron even existed. Sampling of wastewater for particulate matter related to coronavirus is being used to track epidemic trends.
Groups of scientists in the state are monitoring the wastewater for COVID samples, including experts from Stanford University, the University of California (UC) Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, UC San Diego and the state’s Department of Public Health. Last week, health officials announced that the first US case of an Omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected in San Francisco. The man was a passenger who had returned from South Africa on November 22. The California Department of Public Health said that 13 confirmed cases of Omicron variants have been reported in the state so far.
So far, a total of 22 US states have identified cases of Omicron COVID-19 variants, including some that indicate community transmission, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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