Department of Health confirms Brazil Variant of COVID-19 in South Dakota

(Eraldo Peres | AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 1:02 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA) – The South Dakota Department of Health has confirmed that the “Brazil variant” of COVID-19 (P.1 variant) has been detected in the state. The finding was verified by an out-of-state commercial laboratory, and while only one case of the variant has been identified in Pennington County, it is safe to assume that the variant is now here among us.

“We are closely monitoring this development and would like to use this opportunity to encourage state residents to get vaccinated as it’s the best way to be protected—and have proven nearly 100% effective against hospitalization and death,” said Daniel Bucheli, SD-DOH Communications Director. “With more access points than ever, its critical to protect yourself, your family and our communities.”

Identification of the new variant in the Great Plains is of concern to the medical community as it may potentially impact the effectiveness of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines and the monoclonal antibody therapy, which is being used in treating COVID patients in hospitals. South Dakota now joins Minnesota, which has identified 5 cases of the Brazilian variant, and Nebraska with has reported 2 cases.

The P.1 variant was first detected in the the United States in January of this year, and was identified in travelers from Brazil.

For additional information on all the variants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here. For latest news and COVID-19 available resources in South Dakota, visit DOH.SD.GOV.

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