As you know, many variants of Sars-Cov-2 have appeared in recent months . Some of these mutant strains are known to have a high rate of contagiousness , notably the British variant B.1.1.7 and the South African variant B1.351. And more recently, a rapid rise in the number of cases of infections with the new Brazilian strain P.1 has been reported in the Brazilian city of Manaus.
According to the latest information, the United States, which is currently under the threat of the British variant, has unfortunately just registered its first case of infection with the new strain of Brazilian origin .
A case of infection detected by the State of Minnesota public health laboratory in a person who recently returned from a trip to Brazil. And according to epidemiological investigations, there is currently no indication that the P.1 variant has spread in Minnesota. The risk remains, however.
An individual who returned from a trip to Brazil tested positive for variant P.1
For information, outside of Brazil, the P.1 variant was identified for the first time in Japan, in four travelers tested in an airport outside the city of Tokyo. According to the CDC, this mutant strain is characterized by a set of mutations that can affect its ability to be recognized by antibodies .
And recently, the new strain was discovered in Minnesota through a "Routine Variant Monitoring Program" that performs weekly whole-genome sequencing tests of 50 random samples from University of Minnesota labs.
The P.1 variant was detected in a Minnesotain residing in the metropolitan region of Twin Cities, who after developing symptoms in the first week of January, tested positive on January 9 . He recently returned from a trip to Brazil.
Mutations: a normal phenomenon in the life of a virus
According to the researchers, it is normal for a virus to give rise to other variants, different versions of the original strain, which emerge over time as a result of various mutations.
These variants appear particularly in areas where the original strain is endemic as is the case in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. Precisely, according to the results of a study, more than 3/4 of the population of Manaus had already contracted the Sars-Cov-2 virus, a level of collective immunity could then have already been reached in this city.
According to Jan Malcolm, Minnesota Health Commissioner, " Like all viruses, the Sars-Cov-2 virus continues to evolve even though we work hard to defeat it ." He stressed the importance of applying proven prevention methods to slow the spread of this new variant in order to limit its transmission, because "the less people who are infected with COVID-19, the less the virus has d 'opportunities to grow '.