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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A new variant of the novel coronavirus has been detected in Johnson County, state public health officials announced.
The Iowa Department of Public Health has confirmed one case of the COVID-19 variant known as the Brazilian variant, or SARS-CoV-2 P. 1, in Iowa, officials announced Thursday.
The new variant was identified by the State Hygienic Lab, which has been conducting routine analysis of genetic sequence data to understand what strains are circulating in Iowa and throughout the United States.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this variant of the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, was detected in the U.S. at the end of January.
No other details were released about the case. But state and local public health entities have “initiated contact with the individual to understand exposures and initiate the health monitoring process,” according to a news release. That includes notifying anyone who was in close contact with the infected person.
“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,” the state’s news release said.
Mitigation efforts include getting the COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands often with soap and water.
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