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Health officials confirm presence of COVID-19 omicron variant in Iowa

Mufid Majnun
State health officials have confirmed the first case of the omicron variant in Iowa.

State health officials announced Thursday that they have confirmed the first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant in Iowa.

The individual affected is under 18 years old and lives in Black Hawk County. The person is unvaccinated, but is not showing symptoms of the virus.

State health officials said the person’s family sought COVID-19 testing due to travel exposure.

Black Hawk County health officials will continue to monitor the individual’s health.

The omicron variant has already been identified in at least 22 other states, including neighboring Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska.

The World Health Organization identified omicron as a "variant of concern" last month.

Public health experts are still evaluating how fast it spreads and if it causes more severe illness.

Natalie Krebs is IPR's Health Reporter