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LDH is reporting 20 additional cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19

COVID-19
Posted at 4:07 PM, Dec 09, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is reporting 20 additional cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

This brings the total number of Omicron cases in the state to 37 — 34 probable and 3 confirmed.

The first confirmed Omicron case in Louisiana was identified on December 3.

The following is a total breakdown of cases by region:

  • Region 1 (Greater New Orleans Area): 30 - 28 probable; 2 confirmed
  • Region 2 (Baton Rouge Area): 3 probable
  • Region 4 (Acadiana): 1 probable
  • Region 7 (Northwest): 2 probable
  • Region 9 (Northshore): 1 confirmed

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and has named it Omicron. This new variant was first reported to the WHO by government officials in South Africa. Since that time, it has been detected in 57 countries and more than 21 states.

Information is still emerging, but Omicron includes multiple mutations across the SARS-CoV-2 genome. There is concern that this new variant may be more transmissible than previous strains and that Omicron may carry an increased risk of reinfection compared to other variants of concern.

LDH says they have established a network of laboratories to conduct genomic sequencing on positive SARS-CoV-2 specimens in order to track circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages, including newly emerging variants such as Omicron. Epidemiologists, laboratorians and researchers will continue to closely monitor these data in order to continue to identify Omicron cases in Louisiana.

Wednesday morning, LDH announced that three additional Omicron variant cases had been reported. One of the cases involves an individual in Region 4 (Acadiana area) who traveled internationally. This individual did not require hospitalization. By Wednesday afternoon, LDH had reported an additional 13 cases of the variant in the state.

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