Canadian health officials reported two cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant on Sunday, confirming for the first time that the variant has spread to North America.
The cases were found in two people who had recently been to Nigeria, according to a statement from health officials in Ontario, where the cases were detected.
“As the monitoring continues, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada and other countries,” the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement.
“Canadians are reminded that vaccination, in combination with public health and individual protective measures, is working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in our communities,” it added.
The news from Canada comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., said the omicron variant will inevitably arrive in the United States.
Since being discovered in South Africa, the omicron variant has since spread to neighboring African countries and a number of other nations, including Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.