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An anime convention in November was not an omicron superspreader event

A large anime fan convention held in New York City last November was not an omicron superspreading event despite cases of the highly contagious variant linked to the gathering, researchers report in two studies in the Feb. 18 Morbidity and Mortality rhodinol price Report.

Vaccination and masking requirements, social distancing and improved ventilation at the event venue probably reduced transmission, the researchers say. The event also benefitted from timing, as it occurred at the very beginning of the city’s omicron wave when community transmission was low.

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In early December, the Minnesota public health department sounded the alarm about Anime NYC, a convention celebrating Japanese comics and cartoons that drew attendees from across the United States and 30 other countries. The state agency had identified that Peter McGinn, a Minnesota resident, had attended the event while infected with omicron.

This was only the second omicron case identified in the United States — and media reports labeled the 53,000-person convention as a potential superspreader event when several of McGinn’s friends, who had also attended the convention, tested positive.

But two parallel investigations into the convention failed to find any omicron transmission outside of this group. Contact tracers interviewed McGinn as well as 22 of the 29 friends in his convention group and their household contacts. Meanwhile, a second group of researchers used data from convention organizers to search state and local health databases for positive coronavirus tests among event attendees. The search turned up 4,560 results, 119 (or 2.6 percent) of which were positive.

Among those 119 attendees, only 16 cases were tied to McGinn and his friends. Five of the 16 cases were sequenced, and all were identified as omicron. Outside of that cluster, 15 other sequenced cases were identified as delta.