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A St. Louis resident is Missouri's first confirmed case of the omicron variant

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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he first confirmed case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Missouri has been identified in St. Louis.

The case was detected in a St. Louis resident who had recently traveled within the United States, according to the St. Louis Department of Health.

The first confirmed case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Missouri has been identified in St. Louis, city health officials announced Friday.

The case was detected in a St. Louis resident who had recently traveled within the United States, according to the St. Louis Department of Health. A commercial lab found the variant during routine sampling and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the case.

Doctors say they still don’t know how contagious or deadly the variant is compared with other strains of the virus.

They say that as long as the virus is widely circulating it will likely continue to mutate into new and potentially more dangerous strains.

People in the St. Louis region should know that they can protect themselves from the virus that causes COVID-19 said Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, the city’s health director.

“Getting vaccinated for COVID-19, including getting boosters, remains critical to greatly reducing the severity of disease and death,” Davis said. “Also, properly wearing a face covering when indoors around individuals not in your household, practicing social distancing, and regularly using proper hand hygiene practice — washing hands often with soap and water or using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.”

The St. Louis case comes just days after the first case of the omicron variant was detected in a person in California. That person was a traveler who had recently returned from South Africa.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Sarah Fentem reports on sickness and health as part of St. Louis Public Radio’s news team. She previously spent five years reporting for different NPR stations in Indiana, immersing herself deep, deep into an insurance policy beat from which she may never fully recover. A longitme NPR listener, she grew up hearing WQUB in Quincy, Illinois, which is now owned by STLPR. She lives in the Kingshighway Hills neighborhood, and in her spare time likes to watch old sitcoms, meticulously clean and organize her home and go on outdoor adventures with her fiancé Elliot. She has a cat, Lil Rock, and a dog, Ginger.
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