Where does the lambda variant come from?
The lambda variant of the coronavirus was first identified in Peru in August 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that at least 29 countries have reported cases of the lambda variant. This includes several South American countries like Chile, Argentina and Ecuador.
It has been designated as a “variant of interest” by WHO on June 14 because it has mutations that, according to experts, could make it more transmissible or possibly make it resistant to vaccines. It has not yet been upgraded to a “worrying variant”.
Sequencing of the virus in Chile has revealed that the lambda variant has made up 31% of samples since it was identified in the country, according to the WHO. Lambda also constitutes a high proportion of samples sequenced in Argentina at 37 percent. Its prevalence has increased in this country since February.
Is the lambda variant a concern in the United States?
Lambda variant cases have occurred in parts of the United States One case has been reported to Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas last week. In total, just over 700 lambda case total were found in the United States
“What is happening here in the United States is that lambda is competing with the delta variant. And I think he’s losing the competition, ”said Peter Stoilov, associate professor of biochemistry at the University of West Virginia studying variants of the coronavirus, at the University of West Virginia. Washington Post. “The question is how competitive this variant is going to be. I don’t see it spreading as fast as the delta.
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What about vaccines?
Experts are convinced that available vaccines for the coronavirus, including Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and Astrazeneca, are effective in preventing serious illnesses caused by the delta variant of the coronavirus. A preliminary study, which has not yet been peer reviewed and is available in a preprinted version, suggests that the antibodies induced by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are able to neutralize the lambda variant.
One of the study’s authors, Nathaniel Landau, told the Post: “Vaccines induce such good antibodies that even though the virus is a little resistant, they are still quite enough to kill the virus. “
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