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Virus variant cases in state total 555

The number of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii that stem from a “variant of concern” now totals 555, the state Department of Health reported Friday.

There have been 429 cases associated with the B.1.429 variant first identified in California; 86 cases of the United Kingdom variant, B.1.1.7; 25 cases caused of the B.1.427 variant, also a California variant; eight cases of the B.1.351, or South African, variant; and seven cases caused by the P.1 variant, originally identified in Brazil.

On the Big Island, 33 cases caused by a coronavirus variant have been identified.

There have been 14 instances of the B.1.429 strain, which originated in California; two instances of the B.1.427 variant identified, which also originated in California; and 12 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the United Kingdom.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the B.1.1.7 variant has a mutation associated with increased transmission, while the B.1.427 and B.1.429 variants have mutations that are associated with increased transmission and reduced effectiveness of antibodies.

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