What is the Omicron variant?

Omicron is the name of a variant of the COVID-19 virus. A variant is a mutation found in the COVID-19 virus that might cause the disease to act differently and affect people differently compared to what we’re already seen. 

Omicron has been named a “Variant of Concern” by the World Health Organization.

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1. What is the Omicron variant?
2. Is the Omicron variant in the United States?
3. Is the Omicron variant in Clay County or Missouri?
4. Why should I care about Omicron?
5. Is Omicron more dangerous than other variants?
6. How can I protect myself from Omicron?
7. Do the COVID-19 vaccines protect against Omicron?
8. What are the symptoms of the Omicron variant?
9. Why are there new variants of COVID-19?
10. Can I learn what type of COVID I have?
11. How are variants discovered?
12. How does Omicron compare to Delta?