COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health reported the state’s first known cases of the Omicron variant on Saturday.
The Department said central Ohio men who are vaccinated have mild symptoms of the variant.
“I think it should really surprise nobody that omicron is here,” Dr. Joseph Gastaldo with OhioHealth explained to 10TV. “Cases of omicron have been mild so far but again we don't know much about it.”
The samples were identified by Ohio State University scientists.
Questions still linger around if this variant is more contagious, or do the vaccines protect us against the variant.
Sara Koenig, director of COVID-19 advanced technologies at the Ohio State College of Medicine said every test that comes into the medical center that is positive is pulled for sequencing to see which variant it is.
"The more mutations it has the more characteristics are going to change. We've been doing our all-hands-on-deck omicron search, our turnaround time has been four days,” said Dr. Koenig.
Health officials say neither of the men who tested positive for the variant has a history of international travel.
When it comes down to protecting yourself from the variant, it's the same as before.
"We really need to stay on point for what we've been dealing with for the last two years now when it comes to wearing a mask. We still have opportunities to get vaccines into people's arms who have not yet had them,” said Dr. Gastaldo.