New info shows Omicron spread wider earlier than thought

Virus Outbreak Germany
Posted at 8:01 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 11:01:32-05

BRUSSELS (AP — New findings about the coronavirus’s omicron variant made it clear that the emerging threat slipped into countries before their defenses were up, as two distant nations announced their first cases and a third reported its presence before South African officials sounded the alarm.

The Netherlands’ RIVM health institute said Tuesday it found omicron in samples dating from Nov. 19 and 23. The World Health Organization said South Africa first reported the variant to the U.N. health agency on Nov. 24.

Meanwhile, Japan and France reported their first cases of the new variant that has forced the world once again to pinball between hopes of returning to normal and fears that the worst is yet to come.