Early Introduction and Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant, New York, New York, USA.

TitleEarly Introduction and Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant, New York, New York, USA.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsLiu D, Cheng Y, Zhou H, Wang L, Fiel RHurtado, Gruenstein Y, Luo JJingzi, Singh V, Konadu E, James K, Lui C, Gao P, Urban C, Prasad N, Segal-Maurer S, Wurzberger E, Cheng G, Wu A, Rodgers WHarry
JournalEmerg Infect Dis
Date Published2023 Feb
KeywordsCommerce, COVID-19, Humans, New York, SARS-CoV-2

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has become dominant in most countries and has raised significant global health concerns. As a global commerce center, New York, New York, USA, constantly faces the risk for multiple variant introductions of SARS-CoV-2. To elucidate the introduction and transmission of the Omicron variant in the city of New York, we created a comprehensive genomic and epidemiologic analysis of 392 Omicron virus specimens collected during November 25-December 11, 2021. We found evidence of 4 independent introductions of Omicron subclades, including the Omicron subclade BA.1.1 with defining substitution of R346K in the spike protein. The continuous genetic divergence within each Omicron subclade revealed their local community transmission and co-circulation in New York, including both household and workplace transmissions supported by epidemiologic evidence. Our study highlights the urgent need for enhanced genomic surveillance and effective response planning for better prevention and management of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Alternate JournalEmerg Infect Dis
PubMed ID36692451
PubMed Central IDPMC9881774
Grant ListR01 AI158154 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
T32 AI007323 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
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