Health officials say first omicron variant detected in Pitt County, second case in NC

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The South African doctor who alerted officials of the possibility of a new variant, later named omicron, said the “unusual but mild” symptoms were what caught her attention. (Photo: Getty Images)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Health officials say an omicron variant case of COVID-19 has been detected in Pitt County.

Pitt County’s Health Director, Dr. John Silvernail announced on Thursday he was notified by Vidant Medical Center of Pitt County’s first omicron variant case of the COVID-19 virus. In a press release from Pitt County government, health officials said the variant was identified through the Vidant / Brody School of Medicine’s COVID-19 Sequencing Laboratory.

This is reportedly the second detected case of omicron in North Carolina. There was an omicron case identified in Mecklenburg County, the first in the state, last week.

Officials said samples of the specimens collected from COVID-19 tests conducted in Pitt County are sent to the Vidant/Brody School of Medicine’s laboratory. The laboratory conducts a process called sequencing amongst these specimens, which determines the types of COVID-19 variants.

The person, a 30-year-old who has not been identified, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in December. They are currently isolated at home. Health officials said they experienced mild symptoms, and has now recovered. Individuals, who were exposed to this patient, were reached by contact tracers and have been given guidance to prevent further spread of the virus.

“I am not surprised that the Omicron variant has made its appearance in Pitt County,” Pitt County Health Direcot Dr. John Silvernail said. “The increase of travel and close gatherings due to the holiday season have made transmission more likely. I anticipate that more cases will be identified over the next few days and weeks to come.”

County officials also said in the press release the health department has been made aware that two more omicron variant cases have been recently identified in Pitt County, but details are not available this time.

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