Coronavirus ‘Brazil variant’ found in Johnson County

State officials have identified one case of the P.1 variant of the coronavirus, also called the “Brazil variant,” in Iowa.

Caleb McCullough, Managing Editor

One case of the “Brazil variant” of the coronavirus, also known as P.1, has been found in Johnson County, the Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday.

In a press release, the Iowa Department of Public Health said it had contacted the individual and for contact tracing and health monitoring. The case was identified by the State Hygienic Lab.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the variant was first identified in travelers from Brazil, and was detected in the United States in January. The CDC is still identifying whether there is a higher rate of transmission with this variant, and the impact on vaccine effectiveness.

According to Reuters, scientists have found mutations in the Brazil variant that could make it more resistant to vaccines.

This is the first reported case of this variant in Iowa. According to the CDC, 223 of the “U.K.” variant, B.1.1.7, have been identified in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Public Health press release said the existence of variants emphasizes the importance of continuing to practice COVID-19 mitigation measures, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent hand washing.