Updated: December 06, 2021 06:15 PM
Created: December 06, 2021 05:02 PM
Last week, Minnesota's Department of Health announced the first case detected in the entire state of the new COVID-19 variant, known as omicron.
"I got a call from the Minnesota Department of Health saying not only did I have COVID, but I had the variant. That was kind of a shock," Peter McGinn said.
The 30-year-old Hennepin County man spent a few days in late November at the Anime NYC convention with some friends that required guests to have a vaccination and wear a mask.
"I really was taken aback, just like, me, I did everything in my power not to get this," McGinn said.
After returning home, a friend in the group had tested positive, which is what led McGinn to get tested.
Of the 30 people he was with, about half later learned they too were infected with COVID-19, according to McGinn.
The convention last week posted online that a person who attended had the new variant, developed symptoms on Nov. 22 and learned of the positive results on Nov. 24. Anime NYC also urged attendees to get tested.
"I had one day where I had like a runny nose, a light cough, a little bit of fatigue," McGinn said. "Slept like 14 hours, woke up the next day, I was 100% percent."
McGinn said he doesn't feel he caught COVID-19 at the convention but possibly elsewhere on the trip.
U.S. health officials said as of Monday the new variant had been detected in 17 states, including Wisconsin, and only one case in Minnesota. But MDH officials maintain that the delta variant remains the biggest threat right now.
"There had been some speculation — well is the peak that we've been seeing in Minnesota, is that due to omicron and not delta? No, absolutely that has been caused by delta," said Kris Ehresmann, MDH infectious disease director.
Scientists need more data before concluding omicron's severity.
"I think we have to give it a little bit more time before we can really comment on how transmissible it is," Ehresmann said.
McGinn is back to work and credits his booster vaccine with a quick recovery.
"I think the booster helped me with not only mild symptoms but recovering so fast as well," McGinn said.
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