Late yesterday the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) confirmed the nation’s first case of COVID-19 caused by a variant strain, known as the Brazil P.1 variant, in a person who had recently travelled to Brazil.

The person is a resident of the Twin Cities who became ill the first week of January. He or she provided a specimen for testing on Jan 9, and MDH detected the variant strain through a surveillance program that performs whole-genome sequencing on 50 COVID-19 specimens each week.

MDH has interviewed the patient and is advising quarantine, as well as follow-up with the person’s contacts. In addition to the P.1 variant, MDH sequencing also revealed two more cases of B117, known as the UK variant, in two patients who had recently traveled to California and the Dominican Republic, respectively. The patients experienced symptom onset on Jan 3 and  Jan 10.

Taking travel precautions

Read more at CIDRAP…