First U.S. omicron death recorded in Texas

Texas has recorded what is likely to be the country’s first COVID death from the omicron variant, an unvaccinated man in his 50s with underlying health conditions.

The report comes the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced omicron constituted 73% of cases nationwide.

The man was “between the ages of 50-60 years old who was unvaccinated and had been infected with COVID-19 previously,” the Harris County Public Health Department said in a statement.


While indications are that omicron is not more virulent than other strains of the COVID-19 virus, experts also have warned unvaccinated people remain at risk, and urge everyone eligible to get vaccinated and also get a third booster shot for maximum protection. Unvaccinated people will likely have a starkly different COVID experience, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Monday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the patient’s family, and we extend our deepest sympathies,” department executive director Barbie Robinson said in the statement. “This is a reminder of the severity of COVID-19 and its variants. We urge all residents who qualify to get vaccinated and get their booster shot if they have not already.”

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