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Health officials on high alert after Michigan confirms first Omicron case

Health officials on high alert after Michigan confirms first Omicron case
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 6:31 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - With the first case of Omicron reported in the state, health officials warn the situation could worsen if we don’t act now.

Read: Health officials confirm first case of omicron variant in Michigan

“We’re really at a critical time in this pandemic and it’s time for everyone to do their part,” said Chief Medical Executive for Michigan Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian in a webinar.

Dec. 10, 2021: Coronavirus Report: Michigan reports 11,783 new cases, 235 deaths over past two days

The new variant was first detected last month and first confirmed in the U.S. on Dec. 1. As of Friday, 22 states have confirmed cases, with Michigan now joining that list. The first case was reported in Kent County Thursday. The patient was fully vaccinated but had not yet received the booster.

Dr. Michael Zaroukian, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, said the Omicron variant so far seems to be spreading faster.

“It does appear perhaps to be more transmissible in terms of its contagiousness spread from one to the other but the data are all so early that we’ll wait to hear more. It certainly looks to be at least as transmissible as Delta which is much more transmissible than the earlier ones,” said Dr. Zaroukian.

When it comes to protecting yourself against it, experts can’t stress enough the importance of being vaccinated. They also said the booster only strengthens your protection.

“I think the biggest thing to know about Omicron is that it’s an example of what happens if we don’t get full vaccination of everyone all at the same time. So, if people are fearful of Omicron, that’s understandable,” said Dr. Zaroukian.

He also said it’s time to keep the dialogue going so we can keep the vaccination rates rolling.

“The more we can help each other feel comfortable getting vaccinated, the less likely we’ll see the next variant.” Dr. Zaroukian said.

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