HOUSTON, Texas (KETK) – A Northwest Harris County woman with no recent travel history tested positive for the Omicron variant, according to Judge Lina Hidalgo.
This is Texas’ first detected case of the omicron variant.
According to our NBC affiliate, KPRC, Rafael Lemaitre, the communications director and senior advisor to Hildalgo said the woman is likely the first person in Texas to test positive for the new variant.
The Texas Department of State Health Services sent out an alert Monday evening, saying the woman “was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.” The case is being looked at by Harris County Public Health and DSHS.
DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt said in a statement “it’s normal for viruses to mutate,” and he’s not surprised omicron has shown up in Texas. He encouraged people to take safety measures against COVID-19, including getting vaccinated.
The omicron variant, formally known as the B.1.1.529 variant, has been making headlines this month after being discovered in South Africa in late November. The first case in the U.S. was detected in California on Dec. 1.
DSHS said while it “appears to spread more easily from person to person” than most strains of the virus, it’s unclear if omicron produces more severe illness. Studies are currently underway to figure out how effective current COVID-19 vaccines are against omicron.
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