The first case of the Omicron variant of SARS CoV-2 was detected in Argentina in a South African traveler

The situation in Argentina

On December 5, the first case of the Omicron variant was confirmed in Argentina by the National Reference Laboratory in a traveler from South Africa.

This is a 38-year-old resident of St. Louis County, who attended a labor event in South Africa, and returned to the country on November 30. The traveler submits a complete vaccination plan and a date for COVID-19 in March 2021. A PCR test was performed before the return flight to Argentina (where he arrived via the United States) according to established protocols, and the result was negative. An antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 is carried out upon arrival at Ezeiza International Airport, and the result is also negative. You are transported from the airport to your home in San Luis County in a rental car with a driver. Since his arrival he is in isolation.

On December 2, the traveler learned that people he had been in contact with at a work event in South Africa had been diagnosed with positive cases of COVID-19, which is why he is consulting the local health system, despite not showing symptoms. A new diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 (antigen and PCR test) was performed, which yielded positive results. Faced with this situation, the county authorities report to the National Health Authority, send the sample for genetic sequencing at the National Reference Laboratory and study the sample at the San Luis County Public Health Laboratory for the detection of characteristic mutations by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a test. , and get results with deletions compatible with Omicron or Alpha variants.

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Since the time he arrived at his place of origin, he has been in seclusion. Presents four close contacts, who are also in isolation in another home, asymptomatic and who have been studied by PCR resulting in negativity to date for SARS CoV-2. Everything will be tested again at the end of the insulation.

International status:

The first isolation of the new variant was reported on 11 November in Botswana, then on 14 November in South Africa, reaching in some areas as the dominant variant.

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization identified variant B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern (VOC). The variable was given the name Micron.

As of December 5, 2021, cases have been identified in other countries in Africa, Asia and Oceania and 17 countries in the European Union, in more than 15 states of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Although most cases outside South Africa involve travelers, registration of community transmission has begun in many countries.
Regionally, imported cases have been reported in Brazil and Chile.

Recommendations for the population:
• Start or complete vaccination schedules according to current recommendations:
o Everyone from the age of 3 years should receive two doses of the vaccine
o Those over 50 who have received the Sinopharm vaccine as their base schedule and those 3 years of age and older who are immunocompromised should receive an additional dose to complete their schedule.
o Those who received the second dose of the vaccine at least 6 months ago should receive a booster dose, according to regional vaccination plans
• Wear a chin strap indoors and outdoors when you are around other people who do not live together.
• Maintain distance.
• Maintain continuous and cross ventilation of common rooms with non-cohabiting people (social gatherings, work, school, recreational spaces and all other common indoor spaces).
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
• Consult early if one or more symptoms consistent with COIVD-19 are present.
• Strictly respect isolation (for cases of COVID-19) and quarantine (for close contacts of cases of COVID-19).

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Freddie Dawson

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