Omicron variant reported in Wisconsin, severity nonetheless beneath evaluate | WUWM 89.7 FM

We may discover out this week if the COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Division of Well being Providers introduced over the weekend that the federal Facilities for Illness Management has recognized the variant in a specimen from a Milwaukee County man who lately returned from South Africa, however is absolutely vaccinated, together with with a booster dose.

South Africa is the place the Omicron variant was first recognized, and the place the variant has been spreading rapidly.

The state mentioned this Omicron variant case will not be associated to a possible outbreak that DHS and the Milwaukee Well being Division are investigating. The investigation entails 12 folks from California who attended a Milwaukee County marriage ceremony late final month.

Wisconsin DHS

Dr. Ryan Westergaard of the Wisconsin Division of Well being Providers.

Even when the Omicron variant spreads right here, DHS Chief Medical Officer Ryan Westergaard mentioned late final week, that well being officers aren’t positive of the potential impression.

“We should not have a solution to the query of ‘does it trigger extra extreme illness?’ That is one thing plenty of scientists are taking a look at very carefully. There’s been anecdotes of the preliminary circumstances having not very extreme sickness, and usually delicate. However, I do not assume we will rely on that being true for the overall inhabitants,” Westergaard mentioned. “There’s been too few circumstances to essentially characterize the complete spectrum of scientific sickness. So, we must always presume it is one other variant of SARS Co-V-2, which might trigger severe illness, and cease it from spreading.”

The Biden Administration mentioned that the arrival of the Omicron variant within the U.S. is another excuse folks ought to get the COVID-19 booster, or get vaccinated. A couple of third of the Wisconsin inhabitants has not obtained any dose of the vaccine.

DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake mentioned Omicron’s arrival is another excuse to get examined for COVID-19.

“In the event that they know they have been uncovered to somebody with COVID-19 in the event that they’re experiencing COVID-19 signs, it’s via this testing that we’ll establish circumstances of this new variant, and naturally, probably different variants,” Timberlake mentioned.

The Milwaukee Well being Division is constant its cellular vaccination effort this week, and some metropolis websites are open for virus testing.

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