Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.
Author:
Publish date:

Minnesota is in the nation's healthcare spotlight after the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Monday confirmed the first case of the coronavirus strain known as the Brazil P.1 variant. 

The confirmed case involves a Minnesotan from the Twin Cities metro area who recently traveled to Brazil, according to the health department. It's the first documented case of the Brazil P.1 variant in the U.S., and was discovered through MDH's surveillance program, which collects 50 random samples from a University of Minnesota clinical laboratory every week. 

"While this variant is thought to be more transmissible than the initial strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, it is not yet known whether the variant causes more severe illness," MDH said. 

The health department explained that the Twin Cities metro resident tested positive for the Brazil P.1 variant Jan. 9. 

"With the new lab information showing the case to be the Brazil P.1 variant, MDH epidemiologists are re-interviewing the person to obtain more details about the illness, travel and contacts," MDH said. 

What's more is that the MDH has confirmed three more cases of the B.1.1.7. variant that was first discovered in the United Kingdom, bringing the state's confirmed tally to eight cases since mid-December. Two of the new patients who tested positive had recent travel to California while the third had recent travel to the Dominican Republican.

Like the B.1.1.7 strain, and the strain first found in South Africa, the P.1 variant is believed to be more contagious than the novel coronavirus that started the global pandemic. It remains unknown, however, if the mutated virus is deadlier, nor is it known if it can evade any of the vaccines that have been developed to fight the pandemic. 

“This isn’t surprising,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told The Washington Post. “It’s a very difficult development, but at the same time not unexpected.”

Moderna announced Monday that its vaccine appears to be effective against the B.1.1.7 strain. 

Next Up

Walz

Walz: New COVID vaccine 'accelerates' state's vaccine rollout timeline

The governor said Wednesday the state will "significantly beat" its goal to vaccinate 70% of people 65 and older by the end of March.

All Energy Solar Residential Installation

End 'renting' from your utility company and go solar

A solar installation is one of the few home improvements that actually pays for itself.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Hornets erupt in 2nd half to blow out Timberwolves

The Timberwolves were outscored 73-46 after halftime.

BetterBloomingtonFirePhoto

Authorities investigate fatal Bloomington house fire

One person has been reported dead in the fire.

Minneapolis skyline

New tool helps Minneapolis homeowners disavow racial covenants in deeds

A new free program connects homeowners with the City Attorney's office to complete the process

Kyle Rudolph

Watch: Vikings create tribute video for Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph's 10-year tenure with the Vikings ended when he was released on Tuesday.

Zach Parise

Wild scratch Zach Parise for Wednesday's game vs. Vegas

Parise will be a healthy scratch for the second time in his 16-year career.

shawn myers 1

Charges: Windom hospital patient threatened to kill staff, spit on them

Shawn Myers is charged with felony terroristic threats.

kaplans tiktok

Minnesota grandparents go viral for 'distancing duo' songs on TikTok

Their most recent duet about getting their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has gotten more than 67,000 likes.

CHS Field

Start of St. Paul Saints season delayed to May

Major League Baseball says it's being 'prudent' in delaying the minor league season.

Related

Sars-Cov-2

What health officials know, don't know about Brazil P.1 variant

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first case of the P.1 variant in the U.S.

covid, coronavirus

MDH: New COVID strain likely broadly circulating in Minnesota

Health officials believe the new strain is broadly circulating in Minnesota.

covid, coronavirus

Minnesota health leaders discuss new strain of coronavirus

There are differing viewpoints on how much more transmissible the new strain is.

Sars-Cov-2

Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

covid

What Dr. Michael Osterholm says about new coronavirus strains

"What we're seeing right now in England I think is going to be a harbinger of things to come," said Osterholm.

coronavirus

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota reaches 60

The number of confirmed cases continues to climb in Minnesota.

coronavirus, doctor, nurse, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, Feb. 2

The newest information from the state health department.