First NY case of COVID-19 Brazilian variant found in NYC resident

Coronavirus

New York, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Brooklyn resident in their 90’s has been discovered to be infected with the COVID-19 Brazilian variant, the first known case of the variant in New York State.

Governor Cuomo made the announcement Saturday afternoon, that a Brooklyn resident in their 90’s with no travel history was found to have the P.1 variant, commonly known as the “Brazilian Variant.”

The discovery was made by scientists at New York City’s Mount Sinai hospital and later confirmed by the Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratories.

According to state officials there are currently 48 cases of the Brazilian variant across the United States. They say the variant is a “variant of concern,” which means there’s “evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease and the potential for reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines.”

Governor Cuomo said the discovery of the variant in New York emphasizes the need to continue protecting yourself from the virus.

“The detection of the Brazilian variant here in New York further underscores the importance of taking all the appropriate steps to continue to protect your health,” said Governor Cuomo.  

“While it’s normal for a virus to mutate, the best way to protect yourself is to continue to wear a well-fitted mask, avoid large crowds, social distance, wash your hands and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says it is now a race between variants and the vaccine.

“This is a race between the vaccine and the variants, and we continue to make tremendous progress of getting shots in the arms of eligible New Yorkers. In the meantime we remind New Yorkers to do everything they can to protect themselves and their neighbors as we continue to manage this pandemic,” Zucker said.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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