Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak in December 2019 in Wuhan, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has mutated several times, and scientists decided to name the most dangerous variants. Lately, there has been much talk about the Delta strain, but epidemiologists are now also talking about a new variant: Lambda.
Characteristics of the Lambda variant
This strain has been identified in Peru, Lima back in December 2020. Since then, it seems that the Lambda variant has spread out in South America, as Peruvian authorities struggle to maintain the situation under control. According to published statistics, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected this country, and its flawed health system could not face the challenge. This variant is now present in at least 29 countries, and in a weekly epidemiological update, the WHO decided in June that it is a dangerous strain considering its global expansion. The different spike mutations present in this strain makes it highly transmissible, and according to studies, the Pfizer vaccine has less efficiency. The Lambda variant is now found all over Latin America, in countries such as Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and more, and it accounts for the majority of SARS-CoV-2 cases there.
The Delta variant is still the most dangerous one.
Epidemiologists, virologists, and other health-related scientists worldwide study the different SARS-CoV-2 strains and the mutations that occur when the virus reaches a host. They also study how the different strains identified so far react when confronted with the available COVID-19 vaccines. Studies performed around the world show that the Delta variant originated in India, is still the most predominant one. The good news is that although the available vaccines might be less efficient in preventing the infection in some variants, they still help people develop minor and mild cases and prevent hospitalizations.