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San Diego County reports its first cases of Brazil COVID-19 strain

Virus Outbreak Brazil
Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 12:50:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Several cases of the Brazil strain of COVID-19 have been detected in San Diego County, health officials announced Wednesday.

According to Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, two cases of the strain have so far been detected in the county. One of the cases was detected in a San Diego County resident, described as a woman in her late 40s. She had not been vaccinated for the coronavirus and has no known travel history. Officials believe she was exposed to someone in the community.

The woman's sample was collected on March 5, and was not available until two to four weeks after testing, officials said. The county has identified six close contacts outside the woman's household.

The second case was detected locally, but the person is not a county resident. That person has not been vaccinated either. The second case has been linked to international travel.

Both individuals recovered from the virus quickly, according to the county.

“The important take-home message is that this virus evolves all the time and that this is one of the variants that’s been detected in the world and has now been detected for the first time in San Diego and that we just need to be very vigilant about all the things we’re already doing,” said Dr. Eric McDonald.

According to McDonald, it’s possible that the coronavirus vaccine is less effective against the Brazil strain. It’s also possible that people who already had COVID-19 could be reinfected with this strain, McDonald said.

According to the CDC, the variant is of concern because it’s believed to be highly contagious, but it is not believed to cause more severe cases or hospitalizations of COVID-19.