I tell ya, just when you start to hear more and more good news coming out regarding COVID-19, out comes some bad news to knock you back into reality. Apparently, there is a COVID-19 variant that is rapidly spreading across Massachusetts and it has the potential to be more contagious.

WWLP/22 News reports that there are 58 known cases of the P1 COVID-19 variant in Massachusetts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's more recorded cases than any other state in America.

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The P1 variant is believed to be highly transmissible. It showed up in Brazil back in December and then promptly spread through Brazil's most populous city, Manaus. It was confirmed to have reached the eastern United States in January, according to the CDC.

Researchers looking at the spread in Brazil found the relative transmissibility to be two-and-a-half times higher than the base infection rate. Also, aside from it being more transmissible, it may also have the capability to re-infect those who have already had the virus. And it may also cause up to an 80% increase in mortality.

Also, some vaccines may not work as well on P1 as it does on other strains. However, research suggests that the Phizer vaccine may be effective in neutralizing the P1 variant, while other research says the Moderna vaccine may do the same.

The first recorded case in the Commonwealth was identified in a woman from Barnstable County. Researchers have linked numerous other cases to a recent super spreader event on the Cape.

Check out the full story on WWLP's website here.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.


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