Health officials confirm first known cases of Brazilian COVID variant in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed its first identified cases of the Brazil coronavirus variant Thursday.
The department said Thursday that two cases of the Brazil P.1 variant were confirmed in Louisiana. The state said neither person was vaccinated, and neither had a recent travel history.
Health officials suspect more there are more unconfirmed cases of the variant in Louisiana.
Read the statement from LDH below.
"The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has confirmed the state’s first two identified cases of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as the Brazil P.1 variant.
The P.1 cases were detected in individuals in Regions 1 (Greater New Orleans area) and 5 (Southwest Louisiana). Neither individual reported a history of travel, and neither individual had received the COVID-19 vaccines. Although these are the first reported cases of the P.1 variant in Louisiana, it is likely that there are additional undetected cases circulating.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified the P.1 variant as a variant of concern. It is potentially associated with increased transmissibility and reduced susceptibility to certain therapeutics. Recent data suggest that the P.1 variant may also be associated with higher risk of severe disease. Current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against this variant strain.
There are now multiple variants of concern circulating in Louisiana: B.1.1.7 (U.K.), B.1.427/429 (California), and P.1. (Brazil). The COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection against these and other strains of SARS-CoV-2, including variants that may spread more easily or cause more severe disease. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can also help prevent new variants from emerging: every infection that is prevented means the virus has one less chance to mutate."
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