North Carolina’s First Case of Omicron Variant Detected at UNC Charlotte

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North Carolina’s first verified case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has just been detected in a UNCC student.

According to a press release from the school, “UNC Charlotte has identified the presence of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in the testing sample of a student who traveled out of state during the Thanksgiving break and has subsequently recovered from their symptoms. All close contacts were notified through the University’s contact tracing protocols, and no additional positive cases have been identified.”

There are now a total of 25 states with confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

While the Omicron variant has proven to be more contagious than the Delta variant, the Delta variant is still the dominant variant in the US and is currently responsible for over 99% of all positive cases.

According to the CDC, “The spike protein of the Omicron variant is characterized by at least 30 amino acid substitutions, three small deletions, and one small insertion. Notably, 15 of the 30 amino acid substitutions are in the receptor binding domain (RBD). There are also a number of changes and deletions in other genomic regions. Key Amino Acid Substitutions in Spike Protein (RBD substitutions in bold type): A67V, del69-70, T95I, del142-144, Y145D, del211, L212I, ins214EPE, G339D, S371L, S373P, S375F, K417N, N440K, G446S, S477N, T478K, E484A, Q493R, G496S, Q498R, N501Y, Y505H, T547K, D614G, H655Y, N679K, P681H, N764K, D796Y, N856K, Q954H, N969K, L981F”.

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