The Houston Methodist hospital reported its first case last month which was caused by the Lambda variant in the US. Infections caused by Lamda have been rampantly increasing including in Texas. 1060 cases of COVid-19 were identified to be a cause of Lambda variant in the US so far. This data was published by GISIAD, an independent data-sharing initiative. 84% of new cases have said that Lambda is the cause and health experts are watching this variant very closely.
Experts’ Opinion About Lambda – A Variant Of CORONA Virus
The Lambda variant was first discovered in December in the country Peru. WHO has categorized this Lamda variant as “variant of interest” and delta as “variant of concern”. Dr. Gregory Poland is a professor of medicine and he also works as director of the Vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic. He has said that if a variant is shown to rapidly spread in the population then it must be an alarming cause of concern. He said the variants are emerging every day because of new mutations. Studies are yet to confirm that if these mutations continue it will be an advantage to viruses and a big disadvantage to humans.
What do we know about Lambda?
There is no enough data to learn completely about this variant. Though it doesn’t look as threatening as the delta variant it was found to be mutating at a higher rate and is highly transmissible too. Dr. Preeti Malani of Ann Arbor has said that though this Lambda variant is there for a long time now it’s quite rare. She also told the unvaccinated and unprotected are like variant factories of this infectious disease. It is found that the current vaccines are fairly protective against the pandemic. But it’s important to control the spread because we have witnessed the mutations and variants happening rapidly. The only known solution is worldwide vaccination and curbing the spread by precautions.
A study that was published in July found that people who received only a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will require or benefit from a booster dose to protect from a new variant. But this study was done in a lab environment and did not consider real-world effects into account and cannot be taken as final.
The doctors of Nathaniel Landau of the New York University said the initial blood test samples studies showed at least a few may require booster shots because the single-dose protection provided by Johnson and Johnson may be evaded by variants. The recent variants Beta, Delta, Lambda, and Lambda plus have shown modest resistance to the antibodies of Pfizer and Moderna which assure vaccines still work.
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Two new mutations T76I and L452Q help make Lamda very infectious. Health officials are still studying to know whether this variant is high a concern than delta. Dr. Ravina Kullar an expert with infectious diseases and epidemiologists wrote an email in which she said that there is a requirement for surveillance studies to assess the vaccine efficacy. The best way to stay safe is to get fully vaccinated. Following prevention measures such as wearing a face mask, Physical distancing, and refraining from attending large gatherings are a must.
WHO has warned if more and more people stay unmasked and unvaccinated the additional variants will continue to grow in the future. We may reach a point that the vaccination effect may be evaded completely. As with any virus the coronavirus jumps from person to person with each new infection the mutations may pose be dangerous and easily transmissible.
Poland has said it will be like playing Russian roulette to allow the virus to spread freely with no obstacles if we continue to oppose vaccination and stay unmasked. If variants learn to evade vaccination, we may be pushed to point zero and should start all over again.