During an afternoon news conference, County Judge Hidalgo declared the death to be the first Omicron fatality.
In Harris County, Texas, the first death caused by the novel COVID-19 variant Omicron was reported on Monday. According to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the deceased was a guy in his 50s who had not been vaccinated against coronavirus and had an underlying health issue. During an afternoon news conference, County Judge Hidalgo confirmed the death to be the first Omicron fatality. My phone started buzzing, as I’m sure you guys saw, she explained, it was our public health director telling me we had our first Omicron-related mortality.
According to reports, a resident of Precinct 2 was among the vulnerable category of people with comorbidities who were at risk of serious COVID-19 consequences. “Please,” Hidalgo added, “be vaccinated and boosted.” According to the CDC, the very complex strain Omicron, which has a cluster of complicated mutations, notably on the protein spike, currently accounts for 73 percent of all coronavirus infections in the US, according to its sequencing data for the week ended Dec 18. The fatality in the United States comes only weeks after the United Kingdom revealed the world’s first publicly confirmed death from Omicron earlier this month.
WHO had recently released a statement warning that the highly mutated and complex B.1.1.529 Omicron strain of concern is expected to see a sharp increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths. We expect the number of hospitalized cases and even deaths to be recorded when the number of COVID-19 cases from a variation of concern increases internationally, WHO stated. After only three weeks of testing, 82 percent of new cases in Texas are omicron. A rise in hospitalizations has also been reported at Texas Children’s Hospital. According to local media, Omicron instances are multiplying and tripling in a couple of weeks. “An increasing trajectory sharper than anything we’ve seen previously during this pandemic,” Texas Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Jim Versalovic told KHOU11.
Dr. Fauci cautions that B.1.1.529 will result in a “record number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations” in the United States.
US President Joe Biden’s medical advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Omicron, which is now ravaging 89 countries around the world, will lead to a record number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the coming weeks. Due to the high transmissibility of the variety, Dr. Fauci warned of a massive winter spike.
He was concerned about the strain’s capacity to circumvent immune defenses. When questioned by his presenter Jake Tapper if the Omicron variant is expected to cause an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States, Dr. Fauci said, “Unfortunately, Jake, I believe that is going to happen.” He also warned that the United States would face “severe stress on the healthcare system in various portions of the country, particularly in communities where vaccination rates are low.”