BATON ROUGE, La (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) confirmed the state’s first two identified cases of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant, known as the Brazil P.1 variant.
The P.1 cases were detected in individuals in the Greater New Orleans area and Southwest Louisiana area. Neither individual reported a history of travel, and neither individual has received a COVID-19 vaccine.
The LDH says that though these are the only two reported cases of this variant in the state, it is likely that there are additional undetected cases circulating.
There are now multiple variants of concern circulating in Louisiana: B.1.1.7 (U.K.), B.1.427/429 (California), and P.1. (Brazil).
The LDH recommends the COVID-19 vaccines as the best protection against all variants, and says that getting vaccinated could also prevent new variants from emerging: every infection that is prevented means the virus has one less chance to mutate.
Everyone 16 years of age and above is currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Information about vaccination locations can be found here or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 855-453-0774. The Hotline can also connect individuals with medical professionals to answer questions about the vaccines or help callers schedule vaccine appointments.
In addition to getting the vaccine, LDH continues to recommend the following measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear masks,
- Practice distancing,
- Avoid gatherings,
- Avoid travel,
- Stay home when sick,
- Practice hand hygiene, and
Quarantine and get tested if exposed to a positive case.