TAMPA, Fla. — A veterans’ hospital in Tampa said it has detected the first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant in Florida.
Officials from the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital said the patient is experiencing mild symptoms and had recently returned from international travel.
“Our providers were able to quickly detect, test, confirm and add this data to our developing understanding of this strain,” a spokesperson for the hospital said.
The hospital said it is critical to get vaccinated against the virus as soon as possible, as the new variant begins to spread.
“While no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing illness, the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. provide excellent protection against the COVID-19 variants that have caused surges in the United States so far and are particularly effective in preventing severe illness or death from COVID-19,” the spokesperson said.
According to the CDC, the omicron variant has been detected in 17 states so far, not including Florida.