Lambda variant All you need to know about fast-spreading strain

Lambda variant was first identified in Peru, South America. It was designated as a ‘variant of interest’ by the World Health Organization on June 14.

The lambda variant of the coronavirus is emerging as one of the leading causes of the spread of the infection. According to the Malaysian health ministry, it has spread to 30 countries so far, including the UK.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated lambda as a ‘variant of interest’.

Six cases of Lambda have been identified in the UK to date, and all have been linked to overseas travel. The earliest documented sample was reported in Peru.

Lambda variant All you need to know about fast-spreading strain

Tracking coronavirus variants

According to WHO, the Sars-CoV-2 virus which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), has changed over time. Some of these changes impact the virus’ properties, such as how easily it spreads, the associated disease severity, or the performance of vaccines and therapeutic medicines, the global health body said.

WHO has formed a network of health experts across the world to monitor and assess the evolution of Sars-CoV-2. Significant amino acid substitutions are identified and countries are informed about changes that may be needed to respond to the variant to prevent its spread.

The lambda variant

The strain was first identified in Peru in December last year. Lambda is the dominant variant in the South American country with 81 percent of samples found to be carrying it.

The lambda variant is usually associated with higher transmissibility and resistance to antibodies, but health experts have said that more data is needed to firmly establish this fact.

Lambda variant All you need to know about fast-spreading strain

In the case of vaccines too, an early study in Peru claims that the lambda variant is able to easily escape the antibodies generated by the CoronaVac vaccine developed by China. However, the study is yet to be peer-reviewed.

Lambda was designated as a “variant of interest” by the WHO on June 14.

Is lambda the only variant of interest?

The strain was first identified in Peru in December last year. Lambda is the dominant variant in the South American country with 81 percent of samples found to be carrying it.

The lambda variant is usually associated with higher transmissibility and resistance to antibodies, but health experts have said that more data is needed to firmly establish this fact.

In the case of vaccines too, an early study in Peru claims that the lambda variant is able to easily escape the antibodies generated by the CoronaVac vaccine developed by China. However, the study is yet to be peer-reviewed.

Lambda was designated as a “variant of interest” by the WHO on June 14.

Lambda variant All you need to know about fast-spreading strain

Is lambda the only variant of interest?

No. The WHO website has also listed Eta (B.1.525), Iota (B.1.526), and Kappa (B.1.617.1) as other variants of interest.

Despite emerging in South America and spreading across 30 countries, lambda has not been declared a variant of interest by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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