The first case of Omicron Variant Discovered in Illinois
CHICAGO (WREX) — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced Illinois’ first known COVID-19 case caused by the Omicron COVID-19 variant (B.1.1.529), identified in a Chicago resident and known contact of a confirmed Omicron case from another state who visited Chicago.
The Chicago resident – fully vaccinated with a booster dose – did not require hospitalization, is improving, and has been self-isolating since their symptoms began, health officials say.
Public health officials continue to perform contact tracing. Additional information about the individual is not available to protect their identity and protected health information.
“Scientists need time to learn more about the Omicron COVID-19 variant, but in the meantime, we already know how to be vigilant,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “So, get your vaccine, get your booster, wear your mask indoors, wash your hands, and get tested for COVID-19 if you feel sick or have been exposed to someone who tested positive. I encourage all Illinois residents to make a plan for how to best protect themselves and their loved ones, especially in the holiday season.”
South African authorities were the first to report the Omicron variant to the World Health Organization on November 24th, with retroactive testing confirming the variant to be present in Europe at least five days prior.
The first case in the United States was reported on December 1, 2021, and both travel-associated and non-travel-associated cases have subsequently been reported from multiple U.S. states.
Public health officials have been anticipating detection of this variant and expect further cases to be reported in the coming days and weeks.