Houston Methodist Hospital confirms 9 omicron COVID-19 cases

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected in the Houston area.

The new nine cases were detected at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Houston Methodist announced there were eight cases Wednesday night, then provided an update Thursday morning that a ninth person had tested positive.

The new information from Houston Methodist comes just two days after Harris County confirmed the first case of the omicron variant spreading in our area.

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The first case of the omicron variant has been detected in Harris County.



Houston Methodist identified the nine cases through comprehensive genome sequencing. This is the first time since earlier this year that a variant other than delta has been detected by their scientists.

The hospital did not say where the patients are from, how they're doing or if they're hospitalized.

"These patients are not clustered in any particular neighborhood. They're really from all over Houston," Dr. S. Wesley Long said. "So what that means to us is that the omicron variant is here."

Scientists around the globe are rushing to gather more information about the new variant.

Early data suggests that omicron is less severe than the delta variant, but is much more transmissible.

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The latest variant of COVID-19 is officially in Harris County. The omicron variant has also been detected within a key indicator in the city of Houston.



ABC Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton spoke with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky about the new variant and what doctors are hoping to discover.

"We are following and interested in increased transmissibility. We are seeing that coming from data from other countries. We are interested in disease severity," Walensky said. "Will this variant evade our vaccines and therapeutics?"

If you're in need of a vaccine or booster, you can head to Klein United Methodist Church in Spring Thursday. They will be giving out the Pfizer vaccine until 5 p.m.

Head to the Harris County Public Health website to check out all the different sites offering shots.

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