B.1.1.529 Omicron: Valve-style face mask may have caused cross-infection between vaccinated, quarantined patients

Asia, B.1.1.529, Coronavirus, Hong Kong, Hospitalization, Infection, MU, Quarantine, South Africa, Testing, Transmission, Vaccine, Vaccine Breakthrough, Vaccine Waning

A Covid-19 patient whose valve-style face mask was blamed for a cross infection in a quarantine hotel last week has been found to be carrying a new variant of the virus with a high number of mutations, marking the first known appearance of the strain in Hong Kong.

The Department of Health revealed on Thursday night that a genome sequencing analysis confirmed the patient, who arrived in the city from South Africa, and another hotel guest who tested positive a few days after him, were infected with the B.1.1.529 [Omicron] coronavirus variant. Both were fully vaccinated.

The new variant – which has been designated “Omicron” by the WHO, in keeping with global naming conventions based on the Greek alphabet – was first discovered in Botswana. Apart from the two cases in Hong Kong, only nine others have been identified worldwide so far – three in Botswana, and six in South Africa.

SCMP report


** We understand that the infected patient had at least one PCR tests that proved negative before testing positive for B.1.1.529 during his stay in quarantine **





Image by Ren_mch from Pixabay

** This post was originally published on November 26, 2021 **