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Colorado reports 2 cases of a virus variant found in Brazil

April 7, 2021 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Colorado has reported its first two cases of a coronavirus variant first found in Brazil that has proven adept at infecting people who previously contracted the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified the state health department that two Boulder County residents tested positive for the variant, The Denver Post reported Tuesday.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it is investigating whether they traveled to other countries or states where the variant is spreading and is also attempting to find other people who were potentially exposed.

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Officials did not identify the two people or say whether they lived in the same household. It was not immediately known if they had symptoms.

The CDC has reported 289 cases of the same variant in 25 states across the U.S.

Health officials in Colorado have collected a sample of all positive COVID-19 cases for genetic sequencing tests to determine which variants are spreading and where.

Officials have found 1,268 cases linked to “variants of concern,” or versions of the virus believed to be more contagious, more severe and more difficult for immune systems to identify and destroy.

The state health department has urged residents to continue following safety guidelines, including wearing masks and social distancing.