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After the Cape Cod outbreak, Massachusetts became the state with most new COVID-19 variants



The researchers say that the new P.1 variant of CO.V-19 found in Massachusetts is more frequently found in Massachusetts than anywhere else in the country, and most of the cases are part of the Cape Cod cluster.

The latest data from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University-Broad show that in the month after the state first reported the variant in late February, Massachusetts reported 54 cases of the P.1 variant, most of which occurred in Cape Cod. .

“When you see there are many [P.1

] Some cases in Massachusetts are partly because we are looking for it. “Said William Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s Chen Chen School of Public Health. “People expect it to happen at some point, and it must have happened now. “

He said that studies have shown that 43 of these cases form a single cluster, which is likely to be related to the introduction from Brazil, and the remaining P.1 cases may come from Nebraska, Italy and other regions.

“majority [the 54 total cases] Associated with a single cluster, because as far as we know… most of the cases will not spread,” Hannage said. “But the devices that transmit can make up for this. “

P.1 cases have not continued to rise in the state, but Hanage expects more cases to appear.

Studies have shown that this variant spreads faster than the original COVID-19 strain, but scientists have not yet known whether it is a more deadly virus or is more likely to reinfect a virus that has recovered from the virus.

The introduction of this version is a new focus for Cape Cod.

According to the state’s weekly COVID-19 public health report, approximately half of all municipalities in Barnstable County are at high risk of transmission. In the past few weeks, the majority of people’s cases and positive rates have also increased, which suggests that if these numbers continue to grow, new epidemics may hit the area.

At the same time, the number of residents of Cape Province vaccinated more than any other area in Massachusetts.

The state’s weekly vaccination report showed that as of March 30, 44% of Barnstable County residents had at least one vaccine, the highest in the state. By then, 27% of the county’s population had received full vaccination, second only to Martha’s Vineyard.

Hanag said that when fewer people in the state were vaccinated, the variant case in Cape Cod was discovered. He said that although vaccines may be effective against this new virus, Massachusetts still needs a long way to go to resist the mutation of this virus.

Hannage said: “To completely eliminate this virus, we need to vaccinate people with a much larger number of vaccines than they are now.” “High vaccination rates. [right now] By itself, it is not enough to provide protection. If we allow more transmission, then we will get more cases. “

Caroline Enos can be contacted at the following locations: caroline.enos@globe.com.Follow her on twitter @CarolineEnos.




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