The highly contagious COVID-19 variant omicron has finally arrived in North Dakota. 

Four cases have been identified in the state.  Two in Ward county, one in Burleigh, and one in Cass county.

All of the individuals identified are under the age of 50 years old.

Three of them were fully vaccinated but had not received their booster shots and the other individual was not fully vaccinated.  According to an article in the Inforum, two of the infected people had traveled out of state, while the other two had not left North Dakota.  None of the four people have been hospitalized.

All four of the individuals did have symptoms of the highly contagious COVID-19 variant, which tends to be milder than the delta variant.  The delta variant is still the dominant strain in America.

There are certainly more cases of omicron in the state.

Department of Health Disease Control Chief Kirby Kruger said this in a virtual press conference Monday.

According to the New York Times, the omicron variant was discovered in South Africa back in November.  Since then, the variant has spread across the globe much faster than previous strains of COVID-19.

Because the omicron variant has mutated dozens of times, scientists believe it is more transmissible than previous strains of the coronavirus.  They are still working on understanding the severity of the strain, but they believe COVID-19 vaccines will be effective in preventing serious health threats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, according to Fortune, hospitalization rates in South Africa are 40 percent lower than previous COVID-19 variants.  Omicron symptoms tend to be milder than previous variants according to initial reports out of South Africa.

Let's hope that is the case for North Dakota and the rest of the country as we head into the holidays.


Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.


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