New COVID-19 variant found in Hawaii, state lab confirms


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division has confirmed the presence of a new COVID-19 variant in Hawaii.

It is the fourth case of a new COVID-19 variant found in the state. The third case – known as B1.1.7. – was confirmed in the state a little over a week ago, on Thursday, Feb. 18.

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The P.2 variant was first discovered in Brazil. It is being closely watched because two individuals in Brazil who were previously infected with COVID-19 were re-infected with the P.2 variant.

According to Health Department spokesperson Brooks Baehr, one Oahu resident who recently traveled to the U.S. Mainland has been detected with the new variant.

DOH says P.2 variant is still being studied. They believe people previously vaccinated or previously infected are not expected to become seriously ill, if infected.

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