Two COVID-19 Variants Found In Neighboring Oregon Counties
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.”
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.
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.
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.