The new COVID-19 variant known as Omicron is now officially in Iowa, and the first known case is from Black Hawk County. The Omicron variant still has many unknowns, but the CDC does have some information on the variant, including that it spreads more easily than the original COVID-19 virus and that the existing COVID vaccines are expected to protect anyone infected against severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.

What we know about Iowa's first Omicron case

Here is what we know so far, as per KWWL.

  • The individual lives in Black Hawk County
  • The individual is under the age of 18
  • The individual is not vaccinated against COVID-19
  • The individual is currently asymptomatic
  • Black Hawk County Public Health is working very closely with the individual's family to monitor their health
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Health experts continue to suggest being vaccinated against COVID-19 as the best way to protect against both the Omicron and the delta variants of the virus.

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A new report says the Pfizer booster vaccine neutralized the Omicron variant effectively. Already there are reports that to fully protect an individual from the variant, a fourth dose may be needed in the fall of 2022. Pfizer has also begun working on a vaccine specifically aimed at combating the Omicron variant. Omicron has been confirmed in roughly 20 U.S. states including other midwest states Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

South Africa, where the variant was first known to be, has over 20,000 cases as Omicron continues to spread in the African country.

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