MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Doctor Rendi Murphree with the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) said a preliminary report may have detected the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Mobile.
Murphree explains that the report came from a local laboratory after they analyzed a genetic sequence from a COVID-19 sample.
“The sequencing was performed by a local laboratory and we are working with that laboratory now to confirm this report of Omicron in a Mobile County resident.”
Murphree said the department will work through the weekend to find out if the person travelled out of town, or if someone they’ve been around recently traveled.
“I don’t think we’re ready for what is about to happen with Omicron based on what I’m seeing, data out of other places,” said Murphree.
Murphree said we could know by next week if the Mobile County resident tested positive for the Omicron variant.
Doctor Murphree said it’s very likely that next week estimates will show Omicron makes up at least 85% of all cases in the U.S.
“And I expect Mobile County will follow very quickly,” said Murphree. “Once it takes hold in the community, we’re not going to be able to stop it. There are some estimates that half of all Americans will probably get infected with Omicron.”
She said she does not believe Mobile County is ready for Omicron. Right now though, the biggest concern for the health department is Covid fatigue.
“Everyone wants covid to go away,” Murphy said. “They want to act like it’s not here any longer.”
While Covid fatigue amid increasing variant cases is concerning, these are not the only concerns for the health department. “If you have a patient who’s infected with Omicron, they may test false negative on these test platforms,” said Murphee.
You can find more information about the three tests the FDA reports give false negatives HERE.