The Maryland Department of Health has confirmed the first case and death of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant in the state, according to a press release Thursday night from Gov. Larry Hogan’s office.
The person with the confirmed case died of the virus after international travel, per the release.
While the Brazil variant is believed to be more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain, it is not known whether it is more severe than other recently found variants, according to the release.
“State public health officials are closely monitoring the [Brazil] variant, and we mourn the loss of this Marylander to COVID-19,” Hogan said in the release. “As we continue to test for these variants, we strongly encourage Marylanders to continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including mask wearing, regular hand washing, and physical distancing.”