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1st case of Brazilian COVID-19 variant detected in Arizona, officials say

An image of the coronavirus.

Officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services say a COVID-19 variant strain that spreads at a faster rate has been detected in Arizona.

According to a statement released on March 12, AZDHS, along with the Yuma County Health Services District and TGen, reported that the P1 strain of COVID-19, also known as the Brazilian variant, was detected in three test samples from the state.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this variant of SARS-CoV-2, which spreads at a faster rate, was first detected in the U.S. at the end of January; however, studies suggest that the vaccines currently authorized for use are effective against it," read a portion of the statement.

Officials say it is not known how widely the variant may have spread in Arizona, and AZDHS is working with others to monitor the situation.

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COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19

https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home

https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/es/covid-19/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home (In Spanish/En Español)