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First U.S. Omicron Variant Case Discovered in San Francisco Area

The individual had recently flown from South Africa to the U.S. and tested positive a week after entering the country.
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The first confirmed case of the omicron coronavirus variant has been reported in the U.S. just days after the variant was first discovered in South Africa. 

The individual, who is currently in San Francisco Bay Area, traveled from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive for the virus on Nov. 29, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Wednesday, according to CNN.

That person is self-quarantining and his close contacts have tested negative for the virus so far, Fauci said. 

“At least 23 countries from five of six WHO regions have now reported cases of omicron and we expect that number to grow,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Sweden earlier in day, according to CNBC.

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But that tally from the World Health Organization was before the case that was reported in San Francisco Wednesday afternoon. 

Newly reported cases of Covid-19 almost doubled Wednesday in South Africa with the highest number of cases being of the omicron strain, according to the country's National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

The number of reported cases rose from 4,373 on Tuesday to 8,561 on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

The United Arab Emirates also announced the discovery of their first omicron infection.

While omicron is new on the scene, the Delta variant is still most infectious and accounts for nearly all cases globally, Tedros said Wednesday.