Douglas County, Oregon – The new Brazilian variant of covid found in Oregon making national news, has actually been here since January. It just took a month of delays to get test results back from the CDC to local health officials. The CDC just informed the local health officials in Douglas county of southwest Oregon this week, that one of their cases from back in January had the new P-1 Brazilian variant. In a new youtube video, Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer says the new P-1 variant is twice as contagious as the original, it could be more contaegous, more deadly, and vaccines may not work as well against it. Which is very worrisome.
So far there are only about ten cases confirmed in the US of the new variant, this is the first on the entire west coast. The infected person from Douglas county was traveling on business back in January and came back sick from Brazil to Douglas county. They were tested and have been self isolating.
In order to determine which variant of covid a person has – they have to do a special test known as gnomic sequencing. Dr. Dannenhoffer says the U.S. is terrible at gnomic sequencing – because we are only sequencing about 1 out of every 300 samples – and takes a month to get back results. Where other countries are sequencing 100% of samples and getting results in a week’s time.