Harris County recorded its first covid-19 death linked to the omicron variant just as the strain became the most dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States.
Texas records first death from omicron variant of covid-19
Officials announced Monday that omicron accounted for 73% of new infections last week.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo wrote on Twitter that a man in his 50s, a resident of her jurisdiction, died from the virus.
He was not vaccinated, she wrote.
“Please get vaccinated and get the booster,” Hidalgo said in the tweet.
Sad to report the first local fatality from the Omicron variant of COVID-19. A man in his 50’s from the eastern portion of Harris County who was not vaccinated. Please – get vaccinated and boosted.
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) December 20, 2021
The death is believed to be the first recorded omicron-related death in the nation, according to ABC News.
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed a nearly six-fold increase in the proportion of omicron infections in just one week.
In other parts of the country, the presence of the new variant is even more overwhelming.
Omicron accounts for approximately 90% or more of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast and Midwest, and the Northwest region along the Pacific coasts. The national rate suggests that more than 650,000 omicron infections occurred in the United States last week.
Since late June, the delta variant had been the primary version causing infections in the country. By the end of November, more than 99.5% of infections were delta, according to CDC data.
CDC officials said they do not yet have estimates of how many hospitalizations or deaths are due to omicron.
The new variant of the coronavirus, first identified in South Africa last November and already present in more than 80 countries around the world, now accounts for 73% of infections in the U.S.