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Mayo doctor waiting to see if current vaccines will work against omicron



The omicron variant of COVID reportedly has been spreading for weeks before scientists began talking about it just days ago.  Now, doctors are busy studying the variant, to see if it will respond to the existing vaccines. 

Dr. Arin Morcomb with Mayo Health System in La Crosse says COVID could become one of those viruses like the flu, which never really goes away.

She says variants develop from every virus. “That’s why the influenza virus, we get a different flu shot every year because viruses are smart, and can figure out a way to…evade our immune system and become more infectious.”    

Morcomb says at this time, doctors are recommending the available vaccines and boosters in hopes of fending off omicron.  

“We don’t treat (the variants) any different,” she says. “That could change in the future, if there was significant mutation.”

The first U.S. patient found to have the omicron variant is from California, who had just been in South Africa.  That person was vaccinated, but had not gotten a booster.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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