World Health Organization classifies new variant first reported by South Africa

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:01 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The World Health Organization classified a new variant as a Variant of Concern on Nov. 26 that was first reported to the WHO by South Africa, according to the CDC.

This new variant, B.1.1.529, has been named Omicron.

The CDC confirmed no cases of this variant have been identified in the United States to date.

The following statement regarding the new variant was shared by the CDC:

“We are grateful to the South African government and its scientists who have openly communicated with the global scientific community and continue to share information about this variant with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC.  We are working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more about this variant, as we continue to monitor its path.

The CDC said it is continuously monitoring variants.

The U.S. variant surveillance system has “reliably detected new variants in this country,” according to the CDC.

The CDC stated it expects Omicron to be identified quickly if it emerges in the U.S.

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