Half of a group of about 30 people who traveled together to New York City with a Minnesota man who was the second American to test positive for the COVID-19 Omicron variant have become infected with the virus, the man told health officials in Minnesota, according to a report in The New York Times.
It has not yet been determined how many of the 15 who tested positive for COVID are infected with the new strain, the report said.
They all attended an Anime convention held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. Those attending were required to be vaccinated.
The news provides more possible evidence that the new strain is more transmissible than previous variants, including the Delta strain.
The Omicron variant has now been identified in 13 states, with a total of 25 people having been infected in Utah, California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York.
New York has the most Omicron cases with eight.
So far, no hospitalizations have been reported in any of the cases, with most reporting mild symptoms.
Meanwhile, researchers from a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm, Nference, found that part of a genetic code that is also present in a virus that can bring about a cold has been found in Omicron, according to The Washington Post.
The scientists say that shared genetic code has not been discovered in other COVID strains, the report says.
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