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Brazilian COVID-19 variant detected in Johnson County

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 3:56 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed one case of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant (SARS-CoV-2 P.1) in Johnson County.

IDPH says local public health officials have already initiated contact with the individual that tested positive to understand exposures and begin the health monitoring process, including notifying anyone the individual had close contact with.

Officials say they are still learning about the characteristics of the Brazilian strain, including any potential impact on vaccine effectiveness.

The case was identified by the State Hygienic Lab, which is working to identify what COVID strains are circulating in Iowa. Routine analysis of genetic sequence data assisted in identifying the new variant strain in Iowa, according to the IDPH.

The emergence of new variants underscores that it remains critical for Iowans to continue the mitigation efforts that we know work to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask or face covering
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your household
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is offered to you
  • If you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, review CDC guidelines here

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