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US records over 50 million COVID-19 cases

More than 50 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the United States as new cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus continue to be identified across the country.

The U.S. has recorded 50,006,682 known cases and 800,635 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the latest NBC News tally Monday. The case total, which represents about 15% of the country’s population, is roughly equal to the combined populations of Florida and Texas.

The latest million cases were diagnosed in just over three months; the country reported 4 million cases in early September. At that time, the virus had killed 651,690 people.

About 64% of people ages 5 and older have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or one dose of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its recommendations about booster shots last month, advising everyone over 18 to get booster shots six months after their second Pfizer or Moderna shots or two months after their Johnson & Johnson vaccinations.

Cases of the omicron variant had appeared in more than 50 countries as of Thursday. The omicron variant, which was first identified by South African scientists, has since been identified from Australia and Hong Kong to Canada. The first case in the U.S. was confirmed Dec. 1.

The omicron variant has a high number of mutations that suggest that it is likely to spread more easily than the delta variant, which still accounts for the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

The first handful of omicron cases in the U.S. have been mostly mild, with most patients reporting symptoms such as cough or a runny nose, a CDC report said.

COVID-19 has killed more than 5 million people worldwide.

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