ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — An older Marylander who died after traveling internationally tested positive for a strain of COVID-19 that is believed to be more contagious, Gov. Larry Hogan’s office said Wednesday evening.
The person, identified only as someone over the age of 65 from the National Capital Region, had the P.1 variant, commonly known as the Brazil variant of the virus. Scientists are still studying the strain to see if it causes more severe illness.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: 932 New Cases Reported, 11 More Deaths
Hogan’s office did not specify to which country or countries the person traveled. Contact tracing is underway.READ MORE: 'An Incredible Therapy' | Hagerstown Doctor Says Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Provides Fast Recoveries For Some COVID Patients
The strain was first found in the U.S. in January, officials said. It’s the third COVID-19 variant believed to have originated in a foreign country to be reported in Maryland; last month, the state reported cases of the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7) and the South African variant (B.1.351).MORE NEWS: Rockville Police Officer, Maryland National Guardsman Daniel Morozewicz Arrested On Child Porn Charge