A surprising announcement has come from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A Minnesota man was diagnosed with the COVID-19 Omicron variant after attending last month’s Anime NYC convention. Crucial information in predicting transmission models for the variant will likely come from the popular anime event.
The CDC contacted 35,000 people who attended the event, and confirmed they came from every state in the US as well as 27 other countries.
Anime NYC Attendant Tests Positive for the Omicron Variant
The Minnesota man is working with the Minnesota Department of Health to assist with contact tracing. He stated that he wants to be a “resource” for public health. The man also emphasized he could have had a much more severe reaction if he were not fully vaccinated. At the time he had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with a Moderna booster dose. On November 22, he reported mild symptoms and got tested two days later. He was informed to isolate himself from others, and has since recovered.
The man had spent his time at the convention attending discussion panels and chatting with strangers. He went out for “dinner, drinks, and karaoke”, activities where masks are non compulsory in the state of New York. And this was alongside about 35 friends in the city outside the convention. Around 15 of his friends have since tested positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms.
The Anime NYC event took place at New York City’s Javits Center between November 19 and the 21. The event required proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the door and encouraged mask usage for all participants.
Kris Ehresmann, a director at the Minnesota Department of Health stated: “we’re likely to see a lot of COVID” from the convention.
This coincides with news on December 4 that another Omicron infection was identified in a Connecticut man in his 60s, who had a family member who had tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Anime NYC.