By T. Scott Boatright
The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) on Thursday confirmed the state’s first two identified cases of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as the Brazil P.1 variant.
Neither of those cases was found anywhere near Lincoln Parish. One was reported in New Orleans and the other in southwestern Louisiana.
The LDH said that neither person that has tested positive for the Brazilian variant reported doing any traveling, and that neither person has received COVID-19 vaccinations.
LDH officials said they believe there are likely other cases of the Brazilian COVID variant in the state.
According to the LDH, the Brazilian variant is the third variant of COVID-19 detected in Louisiana. The B1.1.7 variant, known as the U.K. variant, and the B.1.427/429 variant, known as the California variant, were both determined to be in the state earlier this year.
The U.K. variant is thought to be as much as 50% more transmissible than others that are widely circulating and studies have suggested it is also more likely to cause severe illness of death. According to Center for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky, the U.K. variant is the most common COVID-19 strain circulating in the U.S.