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Report: Minnesota's first omicron case linked to 15 COVID infections at NYC anime convention

The Minnesota patient was in New York with 30 friends last month.

The first Minnesotan confirmed to have the omicron variant now says over a dozen of his friends have contracted COVID-19, after they all attended a recent anime convention together in New York.

That's according to a New York Times report, which says health officials are concerned that the convention — Anime NYC 2021, which drew "tens of thousands of people" in late November — may "have been a vector for spreading the new variant."

The Times says the Minnesota omicron patient has told officials in his state that 15 of his friends are now infected with COVID, though it's not yet clear any of those cases are omicron. 

The man reported that his group was made up of a total of 30 people from across the country. 

It was also recently reported that he was fully vaccinated and had had a booster shot. His symptoms were mild and have since resolved.

Organizers of the anime convention say they are "actively working" with New York health officials in light of the infections:

However, it has not been confirmed that the infections happened at the convention.

Meanwhile, the transmissibility and severity of the new variant are still unclear. 

Recent reports from South Africa, where omicron was first discovered, show that while cases there are rising quickly, symptoms for reinfected or vaccinated patients so far appear to be mild, Reuters reported. The British science journal Nature has a piece discussing what scientists know, and don't know, about omicron so far. 

Bring Me The News has reached out to the health departments of both Minnesota and New York for comment. 

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