The Minneapolis man who tested positive for COVID-19’s Omicron version in one of the country’s first cases has come out, saying it never “entered my mind” that he was exposed to the virus.
Peter McGinn, 30, who is completely vaccinated and has had a booster injection, said he went to a bar with several other vaccinated guests after the Anime NYC 2021 event at the Javits Center last month, half of whom have now tested positive for the virus, according to ABC News.
“I felt perfectly safe with the people that I was with, and so it never really crossed my mind to think that I had COVID,” McGinn, a health care analyst, told the network Sunday. “I was just a little taken aback.”
McGinn said he found out after he returned to Minneapolis from the trip that a friend with whom he had attended the convention had contracted a disease.
McGinn did an at-home test on Nov. 23 and was found to be infected with the virus. After that, he proceeded to a large testing facility for a PCR test, which corroborated his findings.
“That threw me for a loop because I really wasn’t feeling sick,” he told the Star Tribune.
He complained of a runny nose, a little cough, and exhaustion, but put it down to walking 15 miles a day on his trip to New York City.
On Dec. 1, state health officials performed genetic sequencing on his sample and informed him that he was one of the first examples of the novel variation in the United States.
“I’m essentially patient zero,” McGinn told the New York Times.
He said he recovered fast from the illness, owing to the fact that he was completely vaccinated and had a booster dose.
“A lot of it was just like, ‘See, vaccines don’t work.’ But in my opinion, they absolutely work because they reduce the amount of people who are in the hospital,” he told the Star Tribune. “You might still get COVID, but it reduces the symptoms based off my experience.”
Omicron is a “variant of concern” according to the World Health Organization.
Experts said they’re still trying to figure out more about the variation, which was discovered by scientists in South Africa last month.
Omicron is thought to be more contagious, while it’s unknown if it causes more severe disease or is vaccination resistant.