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Marylander dies from Brazil variant of COVID-19 following international travel

Coronavirus
Posted at 4:10 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 16:10:14-05

MARYLAND — A Marylander has died from the Brazil variant of COVID-19.

State health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 caused by the new P.1 variant (known as the Brazil variant) of the coronavirus in an adult who died following international travel.

Gov. Larry Hogan is urging residents to remain vigilant.

“State public health officials are closely monitoring the P.1 variant, and we mourn the loss of this Marylander to COVID-19,” said Gov. Hogan. “As we continue to test for these variants, we strongly encourage Marylanders to continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including mask wearing, regular hand washing, and physical distancing.”

The case involves an adult older than 65 from the National Capital Region.

The P.1 variant is believed to be more transmissible than the initial strain of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The new variant is one of the predominant strains in Brazil. It was first identified in the United States at the end of January.

The Brazil variant is the third coronavirus variant of concern identified in Maryland.

The first variant identified in Maryland was the UK variant (B.1.1.7), which MDH announced on January 12. The second variant identified in Maryland was the South Africa variant (B.1.351), which was first identified in Maryland in late January.

While the case announced Wednesday was identified in an individual with a history of travel, many cases of variants of concern have not been connected with travel.

The non-travel-related cases indicate that community transmission of other variants of concern may be occurring and reinforce the need for public health precautions.

Please continue taking precautions to slow the spread: wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.

This story originally reported by Brandon Ingram on WMAR2News.com