Two cases of the Brazil COVID-19 variant confirmed in Louisiana

May 4, 2021

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 people in the New Orleans area and Southwest Louisiana. Neither individual reported a history of travel, and neither individual had received a COVID-19 vaccine. 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 department said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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).

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