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New COVID-19 Variant Detected In Arizona

Cases of the P.1 variant of COVID-19, which originated in Brazil, have now been reported in Arizona. The strain first appeared in the United States in January.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the P.1 variant spreads more easily than other forms of COVID-19. The similarly contagious B.1.1.7 variant — which originated in the U.K. — was first detected in Arizona in February.

Former state health director Will Humble doesn’t see the latest variant becoming a problem, as some strains were likely already in Arizona and haven’t worsened infection rates. 

“We’re starting to look at and sequence a significant number of samples so it’s no surprise that we’ll start to see some variants pop up that were probably already here,” said Humble.

The CDC noted that the P.1 variant is effectively slowed by all currently available vaccines.

→  Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.