The Department of Public Health and Social Services in Guam received Friday an additional set of results from virus samples collected in Guam that have undergone genome sequencing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virus samples were collected between March 2021 and April 2021. To date, a total of 116 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples have been submitted to the CDC for genome sequencing.
DPHSS received the fourth set of results from the CDC on May 28. Of the 25 results, 17 cases were identified as Variants of Concern and one case was identified as a Variant of Interest. The breakdown is as follows: 16 were identified as B.1.1.7 or the U.K. variant, one was identified as the B.1.351 or the South African variant, and one was identified as the B.1.617.2 or the India variant.
The B.1.617.2, or the India variant, is a Variant of Interest, which has the potential for reduced neutralization by some monoclonal antibodies and post-vaccination or previous COVID-19 infections.
Of the 17 samples confirmed as VOCs and one as a VOI, five were travel-related cases and 13 had no known travel history. Of the five travel-related cases, three were identified in the government of Guam quarantine facility. In accordance with DPHSS protocol, the three travelers were isolated in the government isolation facility, and all close contacts to these travelers were quarantined in the QFAC for 14 days.
Additionally, of the 18 cases with variants detected, 13 were identified from two separate community clusters, and all were identified to have been infected with the B.1.1.7 or the U.K. variant. Of the five travel-related cases, three were identified with the B.1.1.7 or the U.K. variant, one was identified with the B.1.351 or the South African variant, and one with the B.1.617.2 or India variant. (PR)