Local doctors concerned, but calm about omicron variant after first case detected in Milwaukee County

NOW: Local doctors concerned, but calm about omicron variant after first case detected in Milwaukee County

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- The local medical community remains concerned, but calm about the new COVID-19 omicron variant after a case was detected in Wisconsin.

A person in Milwaukee County tested positive for the omicron variant. The person is fully vaccinated, including the booster shot, and traveled internationally. The person is known to be experiencing mild symptoms.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department is also closely monitoring anyone who came into contact with five people from California who tested positive for the omicron variant after attending a Milwaukee wedding.

"Something we are actively collaborating with the state to contact trace and connect with additional individuals locally who may be affiliated, and to have them tested as quickly as possible," City of Milwaukee Health Department Medical Director Heather Paradis said.

Doctors are starting to get a better understanding of the omicron variant, but there's still much to learn.

"There's some thought that maybe it is more transmissible, but so far it hasn't reflected in horribly severe cases," Interim Medical Director for Infection Prevention at UW Health Dr. Dan Shirley said.

The importance of contact tracing is also prevalent once again.

"The good part is that people are really tracking those close contacts again, which will help try to decide are these things connected originally to travel or something else," Shirley said.

It remains to be seen how effective the vaccines are against the omicron variant. Doctors say there's no reason to believe it isn't at least somewhat effective.

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