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Health & Medicine

Two COVID-19 Variants Found In Neighboring Oregon Counties

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Public Health departments in Lane and Douglas counties each announced Tuesday the discovery of COVID-19 variants.

COVID-19 B.1.429 also dubbed the California variant, was discovered in Lane County through genetic sequencing by the Oregon Genomics and Cell Characterization Core Facility at the University of Oregon.

Health officials believe this viral mutation is “home grown” in the US and possibly in California or the desert southwest area. It’s been found in most states and nearly two dozen countries.

Lane County’s Senior Public Health Officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke, said data on this variant is preliminary. “But- it appears that there’s the possibility of increased transmission and perhaps increased severity,” he explains. “We just don’t know for sure. But what we do know so far is that our current vaccines will work with this variant in particular.”

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Credit Lane County Public Health video-Facebook
Dr. Patrick Luedtke is Senior Officer of Lane County Public Health. He announced the discovery of the California COVID-19 variant in a resident's sample.

In neighboring Douglas County, a test swab sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came back positive on Monday night, for the COVID-19 P.1 variant which was first detected in Brazil.

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Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Douglas County sent samples to the CDC for genomic testing and then learned a resident tested positive for the COVID-19 related P.1 variant. This is the first case such case in Oregon and  the west coast.

This marks the first case of the P.1 in Oregon and first on the west coast. It appears to be related to business travel to and from Brazil.

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Credit Douglas County Public Health
Douglas County Public Health Officer, Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer confirmed the first positive case related to the COVID-19 P.1 variant in the county. The local case is believed to be business-travel related, to and from Brazil.

Public Health officials in both counties said rigorous and increased compliance with recommendations including vaccination, masking, distancing and frequent hand washing, is essential to limiting the spread of the coronavirus and any of its mutations.  

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