WASHINGTON - The first US case of a coronavirus variant discovered in Brazil has been confirmed in Minnesota, the state's Department of Health said in a statement on Monday.
The case was identified in a Minnesota resident who had recently traveled to Brazil, the department said. The variant was detected through genomic sequencing of random blood samples as part of a surveillance program.
While this variant is thought to be more transmissible than the initial strain of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, it is not yet known whether the variant causes more severe illnesses, according to the department.
This case marks the first documented instance of the Brazil P.1 variant in the United States.
Another strain, first discovered in Britain, has been detected in more than 20 US states, according to data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.