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Washington Post: Man With Omicron Variant Went to Anime NYC With 35 Friends — Half Also Diagnosed With COVID-19

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
It is unknown now if friends who tested positive have Omicron variant

The Washington Post newspaper reported on Friday that the Minnesota man who was diagnosed with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had met up with about 35 friends at the Anime NYC convention, and "about half" of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Washington Post stated that the friends traveled to the event from a variety of states. Kris Ehresmann — director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division at the Minnesota Department of Health — stated it is currently unknown if those friends who tested positive are infected with omicron or another variant. Ehresmann said to the newspaper, "we're likely to see a lot of COVID” from the convention.


The Anime NYC event took place at New York City's Javits Center between November 19 and 21. This year's Anime NYC event required proof of COVID-19 vaccination and mask usage for all participants (those under 12 required proof of a negative test). Organizers estimated that 53,000 attendees came to the convention.

The Minnesota man reported mild symptoms on November 22 and got tested on November 24. He was informed to isolate himself from others, and his symptoms have since resolved. He was vaccinated and received a booster shot in November. New York Governor Kathy Hochul urged everyone who attended Anime NYC to get tested for COVID-19. Anime NYC stated attendees will receive an email or call from the NYC Test and Trace Corps or from their local health departments with more information and recommended steps to take.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a new strain of the disease, and it appears to have evolved independently from the Delta variant. The World Health Organization (WHO) designates it as a "variant of concern." The "first known confirmed" sample of the virus was found on November 9 and reported to the WHO from South Africa on November 24. The first case linked to the Omicron variant in the U.S. was an individual who had recently returned from South Africa. The individual was fully vaccinated and reported mild symptoms.

Current COVID-19 vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer and BioNTech are all preparing to potentially change their vaccines to target the Omicron variant. PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron and Delta variants.

Thanks to xevius for the news tip.

Source: The Washington Post (Lenny Bernstein, Frances Stead Sellers, Fenit Nirappil)

This article has a follow-up: Anime NYC's COVID-19 Tracing Provides Early Look at Omicron Variant's Transmissibility (2021-12-11 05:15)
follow-up of Man Diagnosed With Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Attended Anime NYC (Update 2)
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