First Case Of COVID-19 Variant Found In Brazil Confirmed In Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore – The first case of the COVID-19 variant first found in Brazil, has been confirmed in Douglas County.

The OHA says the person had been traveling before the positive test and is now self-isolating.

Here’s more from Douglas County:

Douglas County Reports First COVID-19 P.1 Variant in Oregon and on the West Coast  

Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, our Douglas County Public Health Officer, has confirmed the first positive case related to the COVID-19 P.1 variant in Douglas County.  This cases marks the first case of the P.1 variant in Oregon, as well as the first case on the west coast of the United States.  There have only been 10 other cases of the P.1 variant reported in the United States, in Minnesota (2), Florida (5), Oklahoma (1), Alaska (1) and Maryland (1). The P.1 variant confirmed last night from a swab sent to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) for genome sequence testing, appears to be related to business travel outside the United States to and from Brazil.

DPHN sent a sample of a local COVID-19 test swab to the CDC in at the end of January 2021, for a genome sequence DNA test, and they received the results back last night for the positive P.1 variant.  Douglas County is among one of the few counties that continues to investigate, track and support all local COVID-19 cases in our county, via our incredibly, dedicated epidemiological teams at Douglas Public Health Network.   It is through the continued diligence of the County, DPHN and the Epi-Team staff that we have recognized and corrected discrepancies in the state system, identified anomalies with testing facilities, traced and supported hundreds of residents in isolation and quarantine, and submitted samples to the CDC for variant testing.  The COVID-19 P.1 variant was first detected in people travelling from Brazil to Japan in early 2021. The P.1 variant has been seen mostly in Brazil, but there have been cases in Japan, as well as the United Kingdom.  The P.1 variant has 17 mutations from the original virus and appears to be more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain.  There is concern that the current COVID-19 vaccines, and those that have contracted the previous virus will have less protection and immunity.  Local Public Health shares in the worry with the CDC, OHA and the entire scientific community, that the COVID-19 variants could be more infectious, perhaps more deadly, and maybe less well controlled by our current vaccine.  It is important to note that local public health is also awaiting results of other samples that were sent to the CDC for genome sequence DNA testing for COVID-19 variants

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