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Iowa's 1st omicron variant case confirmed in Black Hawk County resident

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports the omicron case is in someone under 18 years old.

BLACK HAWK COUNTY, Iowa — At least one case of the omicron variant is confirmed in Iowa, according to both the Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab.

IDPH reported the case was detected in an unvaccinated person under 18 years old living in Black Hawk County. The person is asymptomatic, but had recently traveled, prompting the family to get tested. 

After testing positive for omicron, Black Hawk County Public Health contacted the family and continues to monitor the person with the new variant.

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Interim IDPH Director Kelly Garcia is encouraging Iowans to get vaccinated and get a booster

"There is emerging evidence that a booster dose of vaccine offers protection against Omicron, which is great news. Vaccinated Iowans who have not yet received a booster should do so as soon as possible," she said in a statement.

Pfizer reported this week a new study indicates the omicron variant likely chips away at the effectiveness of the company's vaccine, but they still provide protection, especially against severe disease. A third booster shot dose appears to significantly offset the variant's impact. 

Experts say the omicron variant may be more transmissible, but it appears less severe than previous variants.

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