(Reuters) – Texas’ Harris County on Monday reported its first death related to the Omicron COVID-19 variant, a man who was unvaccinated, the county health department said.
It is believed to be the first known recorded Omicron death in the United States, ABC News reported. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue.
The victim, aged between 50-60 years old, was at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19 as he was unvaccinated, the health department said in a statement.
County judge Lina Hidalgo tweeted that the man was the first local fatality from the variant.
“Please – get vaccinated and boosted,” Hidalgo said.
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus accounts for 73% of U.S. coronavirus infections based on sequencing data for the week ended Dec. 18, the CDC said on Monday.
Earlier in December, Britain reported the first publicly confirmed death globally from Omicron. Twelve people in Britain have now died with the variant, and 104 are currently in hospital with it, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Times Radio on Monday.
(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)