Ómicron in Mexico: What is known about the first case of the COVID variant

The Mexican Ministry of Health confirmed this friday the first detected case of the omicron variant of coronavirus in the country, after the analysis of a sample by the Institute for Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference (Indre).

Worldwide, omicron was first identified in South Africa. Authorities of that country alerted on November 25 about the new variant, characterized by multiple mutations. Since then, omicron cases have been reported in some 30 countries around the world, including the United States.

Mexico is, after Brazil, the second country in Latin America to detect the new variant.

Both Hugo López-Gatell, federal undersecretary of Health and strategist of the Mexican Government against the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ministry of Health gave details about the case.

Ómicron: The first case of the variant in Mexico

The infected person is a 51-year-old man of South African origin, engaged in business activities.

He arrived in Mexico on November 21 and, six days later, he presented symptoms characteristic of mild COVID-19.

The November 29th, the patient received care in a private hospital in the metropolitan area of ​​Mexico City. During his evaluation in the emergency room, he was stable, with oxygen saturation of 95%.

Is found in preventive isolation volunteer and his recovery prognosis is favorable.

Was the patient vaccinated against COVID-19?

The patient already had the complete vaccination schedule from the laboratory Pfizer.

When was the test for the omicron variant received?

The patient underwent the antigen test and RT-PCR, which were positive for COVID-19.

On November 30 received the sample in the Indre, where he began his analysis with the new protocol established on November 26.

How was the omicron variant identified in Mexico?

Health authorities said that the country updated genomic surveillance protocols to carry out the intentional search for the variant, since on November 26 the World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as a “variant of concern.”

“How it happened with other mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19, thanks to the collaboration of the National Network of Public Health Laboratories of Mexico (RNLSP), there was access to samples for genomic surveillance in the entire country, which led to the discovery of omicron “, explained the Ministry of Health.

Indre announced that the preliminary results are positive for the N2 gene, and the sample shows failure in the Gen S target: negative for gene S, positive for the ORFab gene and positive for the N gene), characteristics of the omicron variant.

What do the authorities recommend after the arrival of the omicron variant?

López-Gatell assured this Friday that the arrival of the omicron to the country does not suppose “a reason for greater concern” because it is not a “more aggressive” variant than the others.

He said that “the recommendations remain the same” as other variants of COVID-19, that is, social distancing, wearing face masks, washing hands and, above all, getting vaccinated.

“The specific call is to be vaccinated, but not by omicron, but by any variant that exists of this virus,” he indicated.

With information from AFP and EFE




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