Author Topic: The Lambda COVID variant is in California: 5 things to know  (Read 493 times)


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The Lambda COVID variant is in California: 5 things to know
« on: August 14, 2021, 01:00:15 AM »
The Lambda COVID variant is in California: 5 things to know
By BARBARA FEDER OSTROV | Bay Area News Group, Mercury News
PUBLISHED: August 13, 2021 at 8:34 a.m. | UPDATED: August 13, 2021 at 8:48 a.m.

A new COVID-19 variant — named lambda — has arrived in California.

The emerging lambda variant has been popping up in the news as it spreads rapidly throughout South America. In California, at least 152 cases have been reported, the first as early as September 2020, according to state public health officials.

Experts say lambda could be more infectious and resistant to vaccines than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. But there is no evidence, at least so far, that it’s as infectious as the delta variant that now dominates California.

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What is the lambda variant?

The lambda variant — also known as “C.37” — was first reported in Peru a year ago and it’s now spreading across South America, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers say its unique new gene deletions and mutations signal that lambda may be more infectious than the original “wild type” coronavirus and may be potentially resistant to current vaccines, although more studies are needed.

Because of those new genetic markers, the WHO in mid-June declared lambda a “variant of interest.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet done the same, in part because so few cases have been reported nationwide.

The delta variant dominating U.S. COVID-19 cases is considered a “variant of concern” by both WHO and CDC, in part because it’s much more infectious than the original virus.

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« Last Edit: August 14, 2021, 01:02:12 AM by adroth »