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First case of Omicron variant found in Wisconsin

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The first case of the Omicron variant has been found in Wisconsin, according to the Department of Health Services.

“We’ve been prepared for this news and will continue trusting the science to help keep Wisconsinites and our communities healthy and safe,” said Governor Tony Evers. “Now is the time to double down on our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. I urge all eligible Wisconsinites to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose as soon as possible and to follow the latest public health guidance."

The person lives in Milwaukee County had recently returned from a trip to South Africa.

The person was fully vaccinated and had a booster. They reported mild symptoms and have not needed hospitalization.

The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021 and has spread to the United States, including Wisconsin. The Omicron variant contains a concerning number of mutations to the spike protein. Certain mutations on the spike protein were already recognized on other variants and have been associated with increased transmissibility and antibody resistance. It will take several weeks to determine Omicron’s transmissibility, impact on disease severity, and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments against it.

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