Brazilian COVID-19 variant identified in Sedgwick County

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 3:03 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Brazilian variant of COVID-19, or P. 1 variant, has been identified in an individual in Sedgwick County.

The variant was determined through the whole genome sequencing conducted through the laboratories at the KDHE. An investigation is being conducted to determine whether the variant was spread to anyone in close contact with the positive individual.

The P.1 variant was originally identified by travelers from Brazil who were tested in Japan. The variant was found in the United States in late January 2021 and has been found in 31 states and territories. Although this strain can reduce the effectiveness of some COVID vaccines, vaccines still provide strong protection against severe effects of the virus and death.

“We continue to encourage people to take the appropriate precautions. This includes wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose and face and has multiple layers of fabric or layering thinner masks with an additional cloth face mask to improve the fit,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “Kansans should also follow isolation and quarantine recommendations, practice physical distancing, good hygiene, staying home if ill and getting the vaccine if you are able to.”

This is the third variant of the virus to be identified in Kansas, after the UK variant and the South African variant.

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