The Minnesota Department of Health says it has found a variant of the COVID-19 virus known, as the Brazil P.1 variant, in a COVID test taken by a Minnesota resident who recently traveled to Brazil.
While the Brazil variant is thought to be more transmissible than the original COVID-19, it’s not yet known whether the variant causes a more severe illness.
The Minnesota case is the first documented instance of the Brazil P.1 variant in the United States.
The patient with the Brazil P.1 variant is a resident of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The person became ill during the first week of January and the test sample was collected Jan. 9.
He told health officials he had traveled to Brazil prior to becoming ill.
Meanwhile, The Minnesota Department of Health has reported two new cases of the UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, during COVID testing in the last week.
To date, there are 8 cases of the UK variant of COVID-19 in Minnesota.