Covid-Spreader Event At Anime Convention Studied – Kaiser Health News

CDC hopes that an investigation of the omicron variant spread at a New York City anime convention provides insights. Other news on the spread of the variant.
NBC News: CDC Zeroes In On Anime Convention To Understand Omicron Variant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reached out to tens of thousands of people who attended a recent anime convention in Manhattan as it works to understand the risks of the Covid-19 omicron variant. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House media briefing Tuesday that the agency is looking at the convention, which ran from Nov. 19-21 and was attended by a Minnesota man who later tested for omicron, as a way to collect data on the transmissibility of the variant. (Bush, 12/7)
CNN: NYC Anime Convention May Offer 'Earliest Looks' At Omicron Spread In US, CDC Director Says 
Peter McGinn was starting to feel exhausted. It was his last day in New York. He had an exciting four days meeting in person for the first time with friends he made online during the pandemic. They explored the bustling streets of New York City together and saw anime exhibits at the Anime NYC convention. "During my time there, I was walking everywhere in New York City. So, I personally just thought that I was just exhausted from doing a lot of walking, not a lot of sleep, eating pretty poorly," McGinn said. "I thought that was all just catching up to me." McGinn didn't think twice about his fatigue until he returned home to Minnesota on November 22. Later that day he received a group text from someone he spent time with in New York. They texted to the group that they had Covid-19. (Howard, 12/7)
In other omicron updates —
NPR: Omicron Update: 19 U.S. States Now Have Detected The COVID-19 Variant
The fast-spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus has now been reported in 50 countries and 19 states, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She added, "we expect that number to continue to increase." States that have detected the variant range from Hawaii to Texas to Massachusetts. The reports are part of a new surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. that now tops 100,000 cases per day. While officials and researchers are concerned about the transmissibility of the omicron variant, they also say it's too early to know what toll it might take in the U.S. (Chappell, 12/7)
San Francisco Chronicle: California ‘Definitely Seeing Omicron Across The State’ As Wastewater Yields Clues
The omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in wastewater samples in areas of Sacramento and Merced counties, but public health officials emphasized that the delta variant continues to pose the biggest immediate threat. The number of omicron cases diagnosed in California stands at just 10, but the wastewater sample suggests that there are more cases circulating, state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said in a panel discussion on Tuesday. “We’re definitely seeing omicron across the state,” she said. (Vaziri, 12/7)
Also —
Axios: Americans Embrace More COVID Shots As Omicron Spreads 
Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows. The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago. Much of the growth is happening because vaccinated people are getting boosters, not because of a surge in unvaccinated people seeking their first shots, the Washington Post writes. (Reed, 12/7)
Bloomberg: Omicron Propels U.S. Booster Drive In Colorado And Michigan
The anemic effort to persuade vaccinated people to get boosters is intensifying as U.S. residents protect themselves from rising Covid-19 cases and the threat of the omicron variant. Even with Thanksgiving travel disruptions, at least 5.6 million boosters were given from Nov. 27 — the day after the World Health Organization named omicron a variant of concern —  to Dec. 3. The tally continues to climb, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indeed, the pace is on par with the end of October, when the booster push was at its peak. (Edney, 12/7)
CNBC: Omicron Symptoms, Cases And Vaccine Evasion: What We Know Now
It’s been two weeks since South Africa reported the omicron Covid variant to the World Health Organization and now it’s spreading around the globe. In the last fortnight, experts have scrabbled to gain more of an understanding about the new heavily mutated variant, and what kind of symptoms and illness it can cause and whether it undermines the vaccines that have already been developed. (Ellyatt, 12/8)
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