Omicron variant infects 2 fully vaccinated individuals in separate Hong Kong hotel rooms, report says

Surgeon General: Omicron variant means be more vigilant, not ‘panic’

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on what public health officials have learned about the COVID-19 omicron variant.

While health officials continue to study the COVID-19 variant called omicron, researchers in Hong Kong said the mutation infected two fully vaccinated people staying across the hall from each other inside a quarantine hotel in the city, according to a report.

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong published a report that said these individuals never exited their rooms and must have come down with the virus through airborne transmission when they opened their doors for food or COVID-19 tests, Bloomberg reported. The study highlighted the “potential concern” about its transmissibility, the researchers wrote, according to the report.

U.S. health officials said Sunday that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN that scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about omicron’s severity.

“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Fauci said. “But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to delta.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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