Audio: Missouri Department of Health watching progress of Omicron variant

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Officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services say they’re keeping an eye on the spread of the latest Covid-19 variant. 



So far, the Omicron variant has not made it to Missouri, but the first case in the United States has been detected in a man who flew into California from South Africa. If it does arrive here, DHSS Director Donald Kauerauf says Missouri has the ability to identify it through wastewater surveillance and other methods. He also says new strains of COVID-19 can be highly unpredictable, and that the best defense is to get vaccinated or get a booster shot if you’ve already received a vaccine. The omicron variant was first detected in South Africa, and according to Reuters has since spread to the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia.

Israel has closed its borders for at least two weeks, forcing Missouri Governor Mike Parson to cancel a trade Mission to that country and to Greece.

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