New variants identified on Guam




Test results from virus samples collected on Guam identified 18 cases of new variants, the Department of Public Health and Social Services said Friday.


Samples sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 18 with variants of concern (VOC) and one case was identified with a variant of interest (VOI).


Virus samples were collected between March and April . 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. 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.


DPHSS previously reported Variants of Concern from results from the CDC, which identified the following:

  • seven cases identified with the B.1.1.7 U.K. variant

  • eight case identified with the B.1.429 California variant

  • one case identified with the B.1.351 South African variant.