Researchers from Northwestern Medicine said they first identified P.1. an option that was first discovered earlier this year for travelers from Brazil during a screening at Tokyo airport. Since then, the Brazilian version has been found in several other countries.
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“We identified it through our research program, following mutations in the virus over time in the Chicago area,” said Dr. Egon Ozer, an assistant professor of infectious disease in the Northwest and a physician in Northwest Medicine.
The Northwest said that when the Chicago Public Health Department tracked down the individual, another person in the household also contracted COVID-1
Researchers in the Northwest said there was evidence to suggest that this variant could spread more easily than other currently circulating strains of COVID-19. There are also concerns that the mutated form of the virus will reduce the virus’s susceptibility to immunization through vaccination or before infection.
“This means that if someone has previously been infected with COVID-19, the immune system may not be able to cope as effectively with a second infection with this option,” Ozer said. “There is also some concern that current vaccines may not be as effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 with this variant, although the extent to which they differ is unclear.”
The case of P.1. was first identified in the United States in late January in Minnesota and has since been identified in several other states.
The options for Britain and South Africa have already arrived here. In total, Illinois reported 88 known variants of the cases.