The variant, named “P.1,” was found in a resident in Bay County, where local health officials were investigating the person’s exposure history.
Local health officials said the infected person, as well as everyone who has been in close contact with him, is required to undergo a full 14-day quarantine.
Michigan previously reported finding variants of the CCP virus—which causes the disease COVID-19—first identified in Britain and South Africa.
The state also saw the nation’s highest 7-day average of CCP virus cases in the past week, with numbers surging 52 percent.
U.S. Epidemiologist and Health Economist Eric Feigl-Ding said officials believe the “rapid rise in cases” party attributed to the variant first identified in Britain, named #B117, which is reported to be already widespread in 51 Michigan counties.
GUT PUNCH—Michigan & North Dakota #COVID19 cases surged 52% in 1 week.
“It is absolutely alarming,” Emily Toth Martin, an epidemiologist. “Felt like a gut punch. We’re going to have to go through hard work again to get the numbers down.” @juliebosman ???? https://t.co/WeV58nOQSK pic.twitter.com/w8IdiZNB7C
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) April 1, 2021
State Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel expressed concern about the additional variant.
Hertel says she believes people have to wear more masks, stay socially distanced, avoid crowds, wash their hands, and get a vaccine while doing “what works to slow the spread of the virus.”
Mask mandates are already in effect in the state and vaccines are available to everyone starting on April 5.
The Brazilian P.1 variant “carries several mutations that are seen in other variants of concern that are predicted to change the behaviour of the virus,” said Nick Loman, professor of microbial genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Birmingham in the UK.
“These include E484K, which is predicted to make existing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 less effective, as well as N501Y, which is potentially linked to increase transmissibility,” he said.
Scientists are concerned that the P.1 variant can re-infect patients with the CCP virus more easily.
In a March 30 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there have been 172 P.1 cases reported nationwide in 22 different U.S. states.
Alexander Zhang contributed to this report.