New Hampshire

NH Identifies First Case of Omicron COVID-19 Variant

The person is an adult from Cheshire County who was fully vaccinated but had not received a booster

NBC News

New Hampshire health officials announced Monday that they have identified the first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant in the state.

The person is an adult from Cheshire County who traveled out of state and was exposed to another person who was subsequently identified with the omicron variant infection.



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The New Hampshire resident was fully vaccinated but had not received a booster. They had a mild illness, health officials said, and have since recovered during home isolation.

Close contacts are taking appropriate public health precautions. There have been no identified public or occupational exposures, state officials said.

UCLA's Dr. Timothy Brewer says coronavirus vaccine booster doses can help your immune system against the Omicron variant much better than your first and second shots. Immune systems that have received more doses are able to have "a broader response," he explains.

COVID-19 levels remain high across the state, and 99% of current infections are due to the delta variant, health officials said. But the omicron variant is predicted to be more infectious and may become predominant. Early data suggest that the omicron variant may be able to cause more breakthrough infections in vaccinated or previously infected people compared with previous virus strains. But state health officials said the vaccine is still expected to protect against severe COVID and long-COVID symptoms.

“Anybody 5 years of age or older should get vaccinated against COVID-19, including people who were previously infected with COVID-19,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist. “And people who have already completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series should get a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to have optimal protection against both the currently circulating Delta variant, and the new emerging Omicron variant.”

Though this is the first omicron case identified in New Hampshire, it had previously been confirmed in three other New England states.

Rhode Island reported its first omicron case over the weekend, and Massachusetts and Connecticut had also reported their first cases in recent weeks. No cases have been identified in Maine or Vermont yet.

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