COVID-19 omicron variant identified in Indiana

2 years ago
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The omicron variant of COVID-19 has become confirmed both in Indiana and Kentucky.

The Indiana Department of Health made the announcement Sunday, just days after Kentucky saw its first case.

According to a news release, their state department of health's laboratory surveillance system detected the very first case, within an unvaccinated resident, from the Dec. 9 sample. State officials declined to produce broader information, such as the area of the state where it had been found.

Indiana and Kentucky join the greater than 75 % of U.S. states which have identified the variant, first reported around the world Health Organization by South African Health officials at the end of November.

The first U.S. case was identified in California Dec. 1.

Although the new variant is still undergoing testing to determine its severity and resistance to vaccines, early findings show it may be more transmissible than previously identified strains. Indiana health officials on Sunday continued to induce vaccinations and boosters.

\”COVID-19 cases take presctiption an upswing across Indiana, and we do not want this variant to improve the burden on our already stressed health care system,\” state health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said in a statement. \”While we are still researching omicron, we already have the tools and data we have to protect ourselves and also the people we love against COVID-19. I urge Hoosiers to make use of those tools as soon as possible to limit the further spread from the disease.\”

Floyd County Health Officer Dr. Tom Harris echoed Box's sentiments Sunday in a news release in the Floyd County Health Department, and recommended vaccinations for all eligible Hoosiers Five years and older, in addition to boosters.

\”Booster dosing seems to be very useful in avoiding the new strain,\” the release states. \”Becoming fully vaccinated is crucial for that medically vulnerable and their caretakers. The 20- to 40-year-old age bracket might be especially susceptible to the omicron variant because of their low COVID vaccination rate.\”

The Indiana Department of Health reported 5,181 new daily COVID cases and 53 new deaths in the Friday update. The positivity rate for all tests between Dec. 4 and 10 is 13.8%.

 

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