BOSTON – Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced today, March 16, the first case of a COVID-19 variant that originated in Brazil has been identified in the Commonwealth
A woman in her 30s who resides in Barnstable County has the COVID strain.
Viruses can mutate, said health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control said “In Brazil, a variant of SARS-CoV-2 (known as P.1) emerged that was first was identified in four travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at Haneda airport outside Tokyo, Japan. This variant has 17 unique mutations, including three in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein. This variant was detected in the US at the end of January 2021.”
Researchers have indicated that the Brazilian, as well as the United Kingdom and South Africa COVID strains, may be more contagious and thus may spread far quicker and easier.
Health officials are reminding everyone to wear masks, social distancing and getting tested often, especially if they have not received the vaccine.