After more than 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has grown accustomed to hearing about new viral varieties, particularly those that have gradually replaced prior versions of the disease. Some virus mutations, including the alpha and delta variants, which were discovered first in the United Kingdom and India, respectively, were more transmissible than prior versions of the virus and dominate globally.
Scientists keep a careful eye on any novel coronavirus variants that develop. While the globe continues to grapple with the rapid spread of the delta variation, which has surpassed the alpha variant in terms of transmissibility and the ability to induce hospitalizations in the unvaccinated, specialists are keeping an eye on a new variety: The lambda variant is a subset of the lambda variant.
IN MID-JUNE, the WHO reported that “lambda has been associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries, with rising prevalence over time concurrent with increased Covid-19 incidence.” The lambda variant has been found in 29 nations, territories, or areas throughout five WHO regions, according to the WHO’s June 15 report, albeit it is more prevalent in South America. Meanwhile, the prevalence of lambda has risen in Chile, accounting for 32% of sequencing cases reported in the last 60 days, according to the WHO. Thus, it was co-circulating at similar rates as the gamma variation but was “out-competing” the alpha variant over the same period.