An additional variant of the novel coronavirus has been found in Ohio. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Sunday that the state now has one case of the P.1 strain of the virus that causes COVID-19.
The CDC’s map of variants doesn’t show where individual cases are reported.
The B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus, first discovered in the United Kingdom, is here in addition to two “homegrown” Ohio variants discovered in January by Ohio State University scientists.
The variants can spread more easily, dodge some treatments and immunities or both, leaving them a threat even as more Americans get vaccinated.
The P.1 strain was first found in Brazilian travelers who arrived in Tokyo in early January. It appeared in Minnesota later that month and has since been identified in eight other states. The CDC has designated it a “variant of concern.”
B.1.1.7 was found last month in the Cincinnati region (with cases in Hamilton and Kenton counties), in addition to other cases in Ohio and Kentucky.
The CDC said Sunday there now are 33 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in Ohio, up from 22 on Thursday. There have been five cases of the variant identified in Kentucky, with four of the cases in Kenton County.
Neither state has had reported cases of another variant, B.1.351, that was originally identified in South Africa.
Homegrown variants also have popped up and been discovered in New York state and California.
The nation added a record 380 new coronavirus variant cases Sunday, continuing a trend that has seen the country double its known total of such coronavirus infections since Feb. 18. Different versions of the virus that causes COVID-19 are spreading quickly even as the pace of new infections has generally been falling nationwide.
The U.S. has 3,133 known variant cases, up from the 2,753 reported Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control said Sunday.