Maui Official: Increase in Different Cases in Brazil

Maui Official: Increase in Different Cases in Brazil

Transpecific travelers, after landing, recently test after arrival at Kahului Airport. Maui News Photo / Kehoulani Serizo

An official with the Maui State Department of Health said the version, first found in Brazil, is starting to replace the California variants, which dominate parts of Hawaii, and Maui County residents should pay attention.

“The bad news is that the state lab has seen many new Brazilian versions coming”, Maui District Health Officer Dr. Mark Nishimoto said during the county press conference on Friday. “It has been increasing in recent weeks.”

Nishimoto said that the Brazilian version is replacing the California version, which dominated the affairs of Maui about a month ago.

They stated that the California version is 20 percent more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus, while the Brazilian strain is “Much, much more permeable than the California version.”

“So, we have a little problem.” Nishimoto Disse. “We may have a situation in which there will be many more people exposed to the Brazilian version.”

Kuong Chan of Dallas recently tested after arrival at Kahului Airport. The purpose of the county plan is to detect differential strains and provide an additional layer of protection for the state’s safe travel program, which requires pre-trip testing. Maui News Photo / Kehoulani Serizo

Amid the increase in variants, Maui County has stepped up testing at Kahului Airport to determine how many travel-related cases there may be. The county’s new transpacific post-arrival testing program reported its first positive case of COVID-19 earlier this month.

The site was discovered with an accelerated COVID-19 test and later confirmed with a more extensive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, county officials reported the case on Friday. According to Sandy Baz, the county’s director general, the visitor was isolated.

Baaz said that Waikiki doctors hired to manage and administer the program completed 20,429 rapid tests on Friday. Of those tested, 12 were positive and 11 were mistaken.

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A total of 29,410 were evaluated as of Friday, with 8,981 exempted as they were fully vaccinated (14 days after the last vaccination). According to Baz, more than 30 percent of the average daily transpacific traveler visiting Maui is fully vaccinated.

The county’s post-arrival testing program began on May 4, to help detect a wide variety of strains and provide another layer of protection to the state’s Safe Travel Program, including one to avoid quarantine. Negative pre-trip testing is required.

Chelsea Vincent, a technician at the Waikiki Medical Lab, works at Kahului Airport during the May 4 launch of the testing program following the arrival in Maui County. Maui News / Photo Kehoulani Serizo

This requires transpacific passengers in direct flights from any city on the continent to Kahului Airport to conduct a COVID-19 antigen test at the location that results in approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Those with proof of complete vaccination are exempted.

The county hired Waikiki doctors at a cost of $ 25 per test, which did not exceed 124,000 tests. The funds come from federal and municipal funds.

Valley Isle, which had seen an increase in cases of COVID-19 until about a month ago, had the highest per capita prevalence in the state, according to a report by the state’s Department of Health released last month.

A state health official said on Sunday that an updated report was not yet available and would be released soon.

At the end of last month, the state’s interim epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Kemble, spoke of the California version “Captured” In Maui, more than 80 percent of Maui cases are associated with strain B1.429.

Nishimoto said the good news about the Brazilian version is that its effects are no longer severe and are current vaccines, Pfizer-BioNotech and Modern. “Effective against both variants.”

“So my appeal to the community is that, because we have the most spread virus here, we need to vaccinate more people, because this is the only way to stop it from spreading.” he said.

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The state’s health officer recommended vaccination and mitigation strategies, such as wearing masks, washing hands, and social isolation. Citing the actions taken to suppress measles and polio, Nishimoto said that T.K. “It has always worked in the past.”

“We need to vaccinate many people; The bigger the better “, he said. Nishimoto states that children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated and this represents between 10 and 15 percent of the population. He said that collective immunity can be achieved with a vaccination rate of 70 to 95 percent.

“Adults, you need to step up and protect children (by putting a vaccine)”, he said.

In a report by the state health department released on April 23, which included updated information as of April 20, 555 cases in Hawaii were related to variants of interest.

The Mau cases included 207 versions of the California version B.1.429, six versions of the version B.1.1.7 that were found for the first time in the United Kingdom, and two p.1 versions found for the first time in Brazil. .

Oahu, which is approximately five times the population of Maui, recorded 251 types of cases, including 205 strains from California (184 cases B.1.429 and 21 cases B.1.427), 35 versions B.1.1 in the United Kingdom. From 7, seven variants met B.1.351 for the first time in South Africa and four variants from P.1 Brazil.

There are three CDC classifications for variants: variants of interest, variants of interest and variants with high results. Currently, there are no variants of COVID-19 reaching high outcome levels.

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With respect to variants, evidence found of only airborne, increased transmission, more severe illnesses, previous infection or significant decrease in neutralization by antibodies generated during vaccination, reduced efficacy of treatment or vaccines, and failures to diagnose Show. American Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

* You can contact Keholani Serizo [email protected]

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About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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