An unvaccinated man in the Houston area died after contracting the omicron form of the coronavirus, local officials said Monday in what might be the first known U.S. death from the variant.
“Sad to report the first local fatality from the Omicron variant of COVID-19. A man in his 50’s from the eastern portion of Harris County who was not vaccinated. Please — get vaccinated and boosted,” Harris County Judge Linda Hidalgo tweeted.
County health officials said the man had previously been infected with the virus. He had underlying health conditions that put him at greater risk.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the patient’s family, and we extend our deepest sympathies,” said Barbie Robinson, executive director of Harris County Public Health. “This is a reminder of the severity of COVID-19 and its variants. We urge all residents who qualify to get vaccinated and get their booster shot if they have not already.”
President Biden is scheduled to outline new testing efforts and the deployment of military personnel to help U.S. sites deal with the fast-moving omicron variant, which has been detected in more than 40 states and 90 countries.
He is expected to double down on his vaccination plea and say that while immunized and boosted persons may still get infected, they should see better outcomes.
Health, The New York Today