The Minnesota Department of Health reports that a patient recently returned from a trip to Brazil and brought back a new strain of coronavirus.
This is the first known case in the United States of the COVID-19 strain from Brazil. A variant of P.1 coronavirus was detected by the MDH Public Health Laboratory in a sample taken from a Minnesota resident who recently returned from a trip to Brazil. While this strain is considered more contagious than the original virus that causes COVID-19, it is not yet known if it causes a more severe form of the disease.
“This is another reason why we want to limit the transmission of COVID-19 – the fewer people who get infected with COVID-19, the less opportunity for the virus to develop. The good news is that we can slow the spread of this variant and all variants of COVID-19 by using proven prevention methods: wearing masks, keeping a social distance, staying home during illness and getting tested when needed,” say department officials.
According to preliminary reports, the patient with the Brazilian strain is a Twin Cities woman. She became ill in early January and remained isolated with her entire family.