Lamda Variant Fears Looming Large

As the world grapples with the most fatal, Delta variant of Covid -19, the rise to prominence of another variant is compounding the threat multi-folds. The name of the new variant is C.37 Lamda. This variant has been the primary cause of Covid infection in 81% of the cases in Peru in recent months and has spread into as many as 30 countries.

The variant was spotted in Peru in December 2020 for the first time. While the World Health Organization is yet to come to a conclusion about the variant, doctors around the world are fearing that the variant might be resistant to vaccines. In June, WHO has designated the mutation as a “Variant of Interest” on June 14.

WHO, in a statement on the variant, said, “This variant has been monitored as an alert for an extended period, and upon more information and updated assessments, is now considered as meeting the VOI working definition based upon evidence of continued emergence and suspected phenotypic implications.”

The variant, according to the health care organization, is not only one of the most transmissible of the lot, but certain types of phenotypic changes have made the virus resistant against vaccines.

“Further robust studies into the phenotypic impacts are needed to better understand the impact on countermeasures and to control the spread. Further studies are also required to validate the continued effectiveness of vaccines,” said WHO in their weekly update.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, apart from Peru, the variant is also culpable for one-third of the cases in Chile. In the United Kingdom, the variant was found in six patients, all of whom had a history of travel. The strain has shown significant changes in properties and amino acids, making it immune to the vaccines available in most countries.

According to a tweet by the NHS, “The Lambda strain was reported to have originated from Peru, the country with the highest mortality rate in the world.” While the virus is causing panic among the health workers, the researchers are waiting for more study before dubbing it the “Variant of concern”

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