Compared to Delta, Experts Are More Worried about Lambda Variants

NEWS When the world is preoccupied with delta variants, health experts are alarmed by the Lambda variant which is believed to be more contagious.

The Lambda variant also known as C37 was first identified in Peru in August 2020. Since then, this variant has spread to 29 countries, mainly in South America.

Although research on this variant is still in its early stages, the data shows there are some key features of Lambda that are worrying. 

In addition to being easily contagious, the Lambda variant may also be able to avoid vaccines rather than the original version of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as the New Zealand Herald reported.

Peru's National Health Agency said the Lambda variant has accounted for more than 80 percent of all Covid-19 cases in the country.

"When we found it, it didn't attract much attention. But in March, (the Lambda variant) filled 50 percent of the samples in Lima. In April, that's 80 percent of the samples in Peru," said muleculous microbiologist from Cayetano University Heredia, Dr. Pablo Tsukayama.

As of June, the World Health Organization (WHO) has added lambda variants to its list of variants that require attention.

In an article for The Conversation, Dr Adam Taylor of the Menzies Health Institute at Griffith University Queensland wrote that the exact threat Lambda posed was still unknown.

"At this stage more research is needed to ascertain how the mutation impacts transmission, its ability to avoid protection from vaccines, and the severity of the disease," he explained.

He said Lambda has several mutations that determine the protein surge. One mutation is associated with a decreased susceptibility to virus-generated antibodies.

"This means the antibodies produced from the original Wuhan coronavirus infection are not very effective in neutralizing Lambda," he added.