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CHICAGO – A third COVID-19 variant has been identified in Illinois and the strain is thought to be more contagious than others.
Northwestern University researchers have determined that the P.1 variant, first identified in travelers from Brazil, was confirmed in a Chicago resident. Health officials said their household partner also had COVID-19 and that they did not travel outside of Illinois.
Health officials believe this variant is more contagious and may affect antibodies.
Evidence suggests that this variant may spread more easily than most currently circulating strains of COVID-19, and there is some evidence that some mutations in the P.1 variant may affect antibodies (from natural infection or vaccination). ability to recognize and neutralize the virus, but further studies are needed, ”said health officials.
The first COVID-19 variant reported in Illinois was the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. As of Friday, there are 85 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and two cases of the B.1.351 variant in addition to the P.1 variant.
On Friday, 1,442 new cases of COVID-19 were reported with a further 33 deaths.
A total of 3,780,305 vaccines have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago.
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