Six more US states confirmed infections of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 on Friday but the Delta strain likely remains a greater threat as winter sets in and Americans gather for the holidays, experts said.
New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Utah each reported their first cases of the Omicron variant on Friday. Missouri was awaiting CDC confirmation of a case involving a St. Louis resident who had recently traveled within the United States.
Scientists are still investigating the impact of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa. Early evidence has suggested it may cause milder illness than its predecessors, including Delta.
The outbreak of Omicron has made worldwide headlines and prompted political leaders to impose new Covid-19 restrictions. But the predominant US strain remains Delta, Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told a briefing at the White House.
The Utah case was discovered through ongoing genetic sequencing of positive Covid-19 samples at the state laboratory, the state's health department said on Twitter.