Toronto reports Canada's first known case of COVID-19 variant first seen in Brazil

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By Bryann Aguilar, CTV News 

TORONTO -- Canada’s first known case of the coronavirus variant first detected in Brazil has been reported in Toronto, the local public unit confirmed Sunday.

In a news release, Toronto Public Health (TPH) said a resident who recently travelled from Brazil tested positive for the P.1 COVID-19 variant. It is believed to be the first case of the Brazil variant in Canada.

Health officials said the individual is currently in hospital.

The local health unit also reported the city’s first case of the South African variant, known as B.1.351. TPH said the resident has no travel history or no known contact with anyone who travelled.

“Scientists and medical professionals are concerned that these variants are more transmissible than the original coronavirus,” health officials said in the release.

“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) has indicated that research is ongoing to determine more about these variants to better understand how easily they might be transmitted and the effectiveness of currently authorized vaccines against them.”

This is the second confirmed case of the B.1.351 variant in Ontario. Last week, health officials said a man in Mississauga tested positive for the variant and that he likely acquired it in the community.

TPH said they are investigating and managing a total of 27 variant of concern cases.

There are also 174 cases of the U.K. B.1.1.7. variant in the province as of Sunday.

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