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Minnesota health officials on Monday announced the country’s first documented case of a coronavirus variant initially detected in Brazil.
The variant, known as P.1, was confirmed in a Twin Cities metro area resident who had recent travel history to Brazil.
The unnamed patient was ill in the first week of January after returning from Brazil, and the sample was collected on Jan. 9, officials said.
Case investigators advised the patient to self-isolate, and have household contacts enter quarantine.
"This case marks the first documented instance of the Brazil P.1 variant in the United States."
The case was picked up through surveillance, which involves 50 random samples sent on a weekly basis to undergo whole genome sequencing.
The Brazil P.1 strain was recently identified in Manaus, a northwestern city in the Amazon.
Pfizer and BioNTech already vouched confidence in their COVID-19 vaccines ability to protect against new variants.
U.K. officials also recently said the strain could be more deadly.
FAUCI SAYS UK COVID-19 STRAIN COULD 'CAUSE MORE DAMAGE,' US WILL TEST FOR VACCINE EFFICACYMeanwhile, Minnesota health officials on Monday reported two more cases of the U.K. strain, for a total of eight; the most recent figures from the CDC list five variant cases in Minnesota.
The two new cases were found among Twin Cities residents who recently traveled to California, which holds among the largest number of reported variant cases nationwide.
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said mitigation measures can slow the spread of "all COVID-19 variants," including wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
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