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P.1 Re-infection Concerns

New analyses indicate that a SARS-CoV-2 variant uncovered in Brazil called P.1 may be able to infect people who already had COVID-19, the New York Times reports.

Brazil, particularly Manaus, which was hit hard by the pandemic in April 2020 to the degree that some researchers suspected the city might have reached herd immunity, the Times notes. But, it adds that toward the end of 2020, cases rose in Manaus, surpassing that previous peak. 

In yet-to-be-published work, researchers led by Imperial College London's Nuno Faria found that the P.1 viral variant took over and made up 87 percent of samples by early January 2021, accordint to the Times. In addition to finding that P.1 could be between 1.4 times and 2.2 times as transmissible as other coronaviruses, the researchers found it might be able to escape antibodies from other coronavirus infections. The Guardian adds that between 25 percent and 61 percent of people previously infected with non-P.1 lineage viruses may be susceptible to P.1 infection.

"We caution, however, that our results from analysis should not be generalized to other epidemiological contexts and/or other variants of concern," Faria said at a briefing, according to the Guardian.