By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced Sunday that it has detected its first case of the Omicron variant from a resident who was unvaccinated.

The variant was detected from a collected specimen on Dec. 9 through the IDOH Laboratories’ variant surveillance program.

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Indiana was one of just seven states in which Omicron had not yet been detected including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Vermont according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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The Omicron variant is the latest mutation of the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant is said to spread more easily and faster than the Delta variant.

According to the CDC, vaccines are the best defense in a continued effort to prevent COVID-19. Individuals who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose are best protected against the Omicron variant.

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In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, experts are advising individuals to get fully vaccinated and get a booster if eligible, wear well-fitting masks over their nose and mouth in indoor and outdoor public settings, and get tested if they have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff