P.1 or Brazil COVID-19 Variant case confirmed in Maryland
MARYLAND — On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that state health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a Maryland resident caused by the new P.1 variant of the virus, commonly known as the Brazil variant.
The state’s department of health confirmed the new variant’s presence in the state in consultation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We’re told scientists are working rapidly to learn more about the new variant, including how effective current vaccines are against it. The variant is believed to be more transmissible than the initial strain of the virus, but it is not yet known if the P.1 variant causes more severe disease than other common variants.
The case involves an adult older than 65 from the National Capital Region, who recently passed away following international travel. Comprehensive contact tracing efforts are underway to ensure that potential contacts are quickly identified, quarantined, and tested.
While the case announced on Wednesday was identified in an individual with a history of travel, many cases of variants of concern have not been connected with travel. These non-travel-related cases indicate that community transmission of other variants of concern may be occurring and reinforce the need for public health precautions.