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Missouri reports first case of COVID-19 omicron variant

(kauz)
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 3:31 PM CST
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri health leaders have reported the first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in the state.

The omicron variant, which had been undetected in the United States before the middle of this week, has now been discovered in at least six states. The World Health Organization classified the omicron variant, known as B.1.1.529, after identifying mutations nearly one week ago.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services was notified that the state’s first case of the omicron variant originated from a St. Louis City resident who had recent domestic travel history. The sample was originally sequenced as part of commercial laboratory surveillance and results are currently awaiting confirmation by the CDC.

“Although there is much we still need to learn about this new variant, we do know the best tool currently available to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is personal prevention. I urge Missourians to seek information on the Omicron variant from DHSS and trusted medical sources opposed to social media,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS Director. “We also encourage Missourians to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and staying informed this holiday season as this new variant is investigated further.”

Public health experts worldwide are working quickly to learn more about the Omicron variant and how it may impact the health and safety of citizens. The transmissibility and disease severity caused by Omicron are still unknown. Scientists are also studying the degree to which existing vaccines and therapies protect against Omicron.

Missouri DHSS will continue to work with public health partners to monitor for an increase in the Omicron variant, as well as trends in other variants. To learn more about Missouri’s variant monitoring efforts, visit Health.Mo.Gov.

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