Maryland health officials have confirmed a variant of the COVID-19 virus, commonly known as the Brazil variant, in the state. It was confirmed after a Maryland resident recently died after international travel. The victim was an adult, older than 65, and was from the National Capital Region. Contact tracing efforts are underway to ensure that potential contacts are quickly identified, quarantined and tested. The so-called P.1 variant is believed to be more transmissible than the initial strain, but it’s not known whether it causes more severe disease than other common variants.