Michigan’s second case of new COVID-19 variant confirmed in Genesee County

Health department says the P.1 variant could reinfect people who already had a different strain of COVID-19
COVID-19 Variant
COVID-19 Variant(KCBD)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 2:56 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The second case of the new COVID-19 P.1 variant in Michigan was confirmed Wednesday in Genesee County.

The Genesee County Health Department says the patient initially tested positive for COVID-19 on March 23. The test sample was sent in for additional testing, which showed it was the P.1 variant. The results were released to the public Wednesday.

The health department says the P.1 variant may be able to reinfect someone who already had a different strain of COVID-19.

Genesee County health officials completed a case investigation and contact tracing before Wednesday’s announcement.

A Bay County resident was confirmed last week as Michigan’s first patient to test positive for the variant, which originally was detected in Japan among travelers from Brazil.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed more than 1,800 total cases of the three COVID-19 variants present in the state -- the B.1.1.7 from Europe, the B.1.315 from South Africa and the P.1.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, has said the variants spread more easily from person to person, but they don’t appear to cause a more severe COVID-19 illness or increase the chances of death. The three vaccines approved in the U.S. appear to work on the variants.

State health officials encourage the same measures to prevent spreading COVID-19 variants -- wearing a face covering in public, practicing social distancing and washing hands often.

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