A Maui State Department of Health official said the variable first detected in Brazil is starting to replace the California variants that dominated parts of Hawaii, and Maui County residents should pay attention.
“The bad news is that the state laboratory has witnessed the emergence of a lot of new Brazilian variants,” Dr. Mark Nishimoto, Maui District health official, said during a provincial press conference on Friday. “It has been increasing in recent weeks.”
Nishimoto said the Brazilian substitute replaces the California alternative, which controlled Maui cases about a month ago.
He added that the California variant is 20 percent more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus, while the Brazilian strain is “Much, more transferable than the California variant.”
“So we have a little problem.” Nishimoto Dis. “We might have a situation where we would have more people exposed to the Brazilian variant.”
Amid an increase in variables, Maui County has ramped up testing at Kahului Airport in hopes of determining the number of cases that may be related to travel. The new post-arrival testing program across the Pacific in the province recorded its first positive case of COVID-19 since it began earlier this month.
Detected by a rapid on-site COVID-19 test and later confirmed by a more comprehensive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, county officials reported the case Friday. The visitor has been quarantined, according to the county general, Sandy Paz.
Paz said Waikiki’s doctors, who were assigned to manage and administer the program, completed 20,429 rapid tests on Friday. Of those tested, 12 were positive and 11 were considered false.
A total of 29,410 were evaluated as of Friday, with 8,981 of them exempt because they had received the full vaccination (more than 14 days after the last vaccination). More than 30 percent of the average daily Pacific traveler to Maui is fully vaccinated, according to Paz.
The county’s post-arrival testing program kicked off on May 4 to help detect changing strains and offer another layer of protection for the state’s Safe Travels program that requires a negative pre-flight test to avoid quarantine.
Trans-Pacific travelers on direct flights to Kahului Airport from any city on the continent are required to undergo an on-site COVID-19 antigen test that produces results in about 15 to 20 minutes. Those who have evidence of complete vaccination are exempt.
The county hired Waikiki doctors for $ 25 per test, not to exceed 124,000 tests. The money comes from federal and municipal funds.
Valley Isle, which until about a month ago saw an increase in COVID-19 cases, had the highest per capita prevalence of the variant in the state, according to a report by the state health department released last month.
A state health official said on Sunday that an updated report is not yet available and will be released soon.
At the end of last month, the state’s interim epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Kimble, said the alternative is from California “Occupy” In Maui, with more than 80 percent of Maui cases linked to the 1.429 B strain.
Nishimoto said the good news about the Brazilian alternative is that its effects are no longer serious and that the current vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are. “Both are effective against variants.”
“So my appeal to the community is that, since we have this most transmissible virus here, we need to vaccinate more people, because that’s the only way to prevent it from spreading.” He said.
The state health official recommended vaccination and mitigation strategies, such as wearing masks, washing hands and socializing. Citing work done to suppress measles and polio, Nishimoto said that vaccines “I have always succeeded in the past.”
“We need to vaccinate a number of people. The more the better, “ He said. Nishimoto says children under the age of 12 cannot yet be vaccinated and account for between 10 and 15 percent of the population. She added that herd immunity can be achieved with a vaccination rate of between 70 and 95 percent.
“Adults, you need to promote and protect children (by vaccination)”, He said.
In a report by the state health department released on April 23, which included updated information as of April 20, Hawaii had 555 cases associated with variables of interest.
The 207 Maui cases of the California variant B.1.429 included six of the B.1.1.7 variant that were first found in the UK and two of the P.1 variant that were first found in Brazil.
Oahu, which has a population roughly five times that of Maui, has recorded 251 variable cases, including 205 strains from California (184 cases B.1.429 and 21 cases B.1.427), 35 of variant B.1.1.7 in the kingdom United, seven of the B.1.351 variant that was first found in South Africa and four of the P.1 variant from Brazil.
There are three CDC classifications of variables: variables of significance, variables of significance, and variables with high scores. Currently, there are no variants of COVID-19 that reach a high consequence level.
Regarding the variants, the only variants found in Hawaii showed evidence of increased transmissibility, more serious diseases, a significant decrease in neutralizing antibodies formed during a previous infection or vaccination, lower efficacy of treatments or vaccines, and failure to detect the diagnosis, according to the US Centers To combat and prevent diseases.
* You can contact Kehaulani Cerizo at [email protected]