According to the Argentina Ministry of Health (computer translated), the first case of the Omicron variant in Argentina was confirmed by the National Reference Laboratory in a traveler from South Africa on December 5.
The case is a 38-year-old person, a resident of the province of San Luis, who attended a labor event in South Africa, returning to the country on November 30. The traveler presents a complete vaccination scheme and a history of COVID-19 in March 2021. A PCR test was performed prior to the return trip to Argentina (where he arrived via the United States) according to the established protocols, with a negative result. An antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 is performed on arrival at Ezeiza International Airport, also with a negative result. The traveler was transferred from the airport to their home in the province of San Luis in a rental car with a driver.
On December 2, the traveler learns that people with whom he was in contact at the work event in South Africa were diagnosed as positive COVID-19 cases, which is why he consults the local health system, despite be asymptomatic A new diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 (Antigen Test and PCR) was performed, yielding both positive results. Faced with this situation, the provincial authorities inform the national health authority, send the sample for genomic sequencing at the National Reference Laboratory and study the sample at the Public Health Laboratory of the province of San Luis for the detection of characteristic mutations by PCR as screening, obtaining results with deletions compatible with Omicron or Alpha variants.
From the time he arrived at his place of origin, he has been in isolation. He presents four close contacts, who are also in isolation in another home, do not present symptoms and who were studied by PCR resulting so far negative for SARS CoV-2. All will be tested again at the end of the isolation.
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