The coronavirus variant omicron accounted for 73 percent of new infections during the week of Dec. 13, and among the newly infected are Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Along with Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, all three announced they have tested positive for coronavirus, have received covid-19 booster shots and are having mild symptoms, CNN reported.
“I regularly test for COVID & while I tested negative earlier this week, today I tested positive with a breakthrough case,” Warren tweeted on Sunday, Dec. 19. “Thankfully, I am only experiencing mild symptoms & am grateful for the protection provided against serious illness that comes from being vaccinated & boosted.
Warren urged the unvaccinated to get jabbed. “As cases increase across the country, I urge everyone who has not already done so to get the vaccine and the booster as soon as possible – together, we can save lives.”
Crow tweeted that he “just returned from an official congressional delegation visit to Ukraine and tested positive for a breakthrough COVID infection.”
There has been nearly a six-fold increase in omicron’s reported share of infections in only one week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NBC reported.
Before the surge in omicron infections, the delta variant has been the main cause of U.S. infections since the end of June. At the end of November, more than 99.5 percent of reported coronavirus cases were delta, according to CDC data.
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“All of us have a date with omicron,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told NBC. “If you’re going to interact with society, if you’re going to have any type of life, omicron will be something you encounter, and the best way you can encounter this is to be fully vaccinated.”
Adalja added that he was not surprised by the CDC data showing omicron overtaking delta in the U.S.
“Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant. We are concerned that people are dismissing omicron as mild,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Surely we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril.”