The U.S. identified its first known case of the omicron variant Wednesday — in a person in California — as scientists around the world raced to establish whether the new, mutant version of the coronavirus is more dangerous than the previous ones.

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The first U.S. case is a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22.

The person, who was fully vaccinated, had mild symptoms that are improving.

The person has agreed to remain in quarantine and all the individual’s close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative.

Nigeria and Saudi Arabia also reported omicron infections Wednesday, marking the first known cases in West Africa and the Persian Gulf region.

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