Colorado on Tuesday reported its first two cases of the Brazilian variant of the CCP virus.
The two cases are Boulder county residents. The department said that their travel history is “unknown at this time.” The department did not note whether the two cases were of the same household or have exhibited any symptoms.
The department said it is investigating possible exposures, and also carrying out contact tracing, and that Boulder County Public Health is working closely to provide local support if needed.
Public health officials first identified the P.1 variant from travelers arriving in Japan from Brazil in early January.
The CDC has classified the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.427, and B.1.429 variants in the United States as “variants of concern,” meaning that these emerging variants appear to spread more easily and quickly than earlier forms of the virus, and may lead to more cases of COVID-19.
“An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on health care resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths,” the CDC states on its website. “So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.”
The CDC and the Colorado health department advise that people carry out general strategies like physical distancing, masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, and get vaccinated to limit the CCP virus’s spread.
“Early research suggests that the currently authorized vaccines are effective against known variants, though perhaps to varying degrees depending on the strain. Experts stress that getting vaccinated can provide significant protection against transmission and severe illness from COVID-19,” the Colorado health department stated.