The Who has recently classified the Lambda strain as a variant of concern. This means that it has higher transmissibility than the original Wuhan coronavirus and that extra measures need to be taken to avoid outbreaks. The U.S has registered a surge in daily cases due to the Delta strain, and there are worries that the Lambda strain might do the same.
Less than 700 cases connected to the Lambda variant in the U.S
Scientists are tracking all SARS-CoV-2 variants, and it seems that, so far, 700 cases of Lambda infection have been reported in the U.S, from the total of 34 million cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic. The lambda strain originated in Peru in August 2020. However, scientists explain that not all cases have been sequenced to identify the strain responsible for the infection. This would make 1% of U.S coronavirus cases.
What are the characteristics of the Lambda variant?
The Lambda variant has been reported in 28 countries, while the Delta strain has been reported in over 132 cases. Dr Stuart Ray declared that the Lambda variant is similar to the Alpha strain and that it has been responsible for outbreaks in many South American countries, such as Argentina, Ecuador and Chile. The mutations of the Lambda strain have made the virus evolve and increase its transmissibility rates. The available Covid-19 vaccines could also be less efficient, but the overall impact of the Lambda strain has not been entirely determined.
Scientists did determine that the mutations suffered by the original virus have made some variants more resistant to vaccines. Last month the WHO had classified Lambda strain as a variant of interest, and it seems that things got more serious as it was re-classified under variant of concern. The Delta strain has also been classified as a variant of concern.