Missouri announces first case of COVID-19 caused by omicron variant

JEFFERSON CITY − The Missouri Department of Health Senior Services (DHSS) announced the state’s first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant.

The sample presumed positive for the omicron variant originated from a St. Louis City resident who had recent domestic travel history, according to a news release.

Results are currently awaiting confirmation by the CDC. 

One week ago, the World Health Organization classified omicron as a variant of concern due to identified concerning types of mutations. 

“I urge Missourians to seek information on the omicron variant from DHSS and trusted medical sources opposed to social media,” Donald Kauerauf, DHSS director, said in a news release Friday.

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The transmissibility and disease severity caused by omicron are still unknown. Scientists are studying the degree to which existing vaccines and therapies protect against omicron. 

“The delta variant is still the predominant variant present in Missouri, currently representing well over 99% of the cases. Citizens are urged to complete their vaccination series for COVID-19 and get their booster,” Kauerauf said.  

DHSS continues to recommend that residents follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, getting fully vaccinated, frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance from others.

More information on Missouri’s variant monitoring efforts is available at Health.Mo.Gov., and learn more about COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri at MOStopsCovid.com

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