Currently, the Delta variant is causing havoc in the US. The cases rose to about 37,000 after a long time. The number of positive coronavirus cases was only 13,700 on July 6. while cases increase, the number of vaccinations is decreasing.
What Is The Lambda Strain? Should We Be Worried?
Countries are tightening entry restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The delta variant accounts for more than 58% of total COVID-19 positive cases. Arkansas is leading with the majority of cases and Los Angeles county has reinstated the policy of wearing masks indoors, regardless of test or vaccination status. The country is gradually entering its fourth wave of coronavirus pandemic.
While the US is dealing with the Delta variant, a Houston hospital has seen its very first case of yet another strain, the Lambda variant. The public health officials say that it is too early to predict if this variant will prove threatening to people like the Delta, which is preying upon the unvaccinated people of the US. 83% of total COVID-19 cases prevailing in the US at present are from the Delta variant. The majority of people who tested positive and had to be hospitalized are unvaccinated people.
The lambda variant is different from other variants because of its specific mutations. The mutations in the lambda are the same as other variants. The WHO has categorized this variant as “concern or interest.” It was first spotted in Peru in December 2020. Until June, the lambda variant has been identified in over 29 countries. However, the Lambda variant has not yet spread in the world in a way delta has/
It has been seen in less than 700 cases in the US. The WHO identifies the lambda variant going through genetic changes, which mutates itself and spreads in several countries. The medical director of the Houston Methodist, where the first case was identified, says that the lambda variant does not seem to be as infectious as the delta variant. He said that even though lambda looks interesting, we should really be focusing on the delta. Whichever the variant may be, our best defense against catching any variant is only vaccines.
Cleveland clinic’s ICU physician and director for critical care research, Dr. Abhijit Duggal, said that it is the tendency of viruses to mutate and then we have a significant variant. Mutations occur in its protein which helps the virus to penetrate human cells. Dr. Dugga clarified that there has not been anything concerning it.
Studies say that the vaccines that are authorized for use are highly effective in preventing serious problems by COVID-19’s multiple variants. There is no proof that the vaccines are not effective against the lambda variant, said Duggal. It is likely that efficacy may be lower, but it will still prevent severity. Those who have been fully vaccinated may still catch the virus, but getting vaccinated can prevent deaths and the need for hospitalization.
It has been found in a new study that Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not as effective with the delta and lambda variants. It concluded that one dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is 33% effective to prevent symptomatic viral of the delta variant. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines prove to have the same level of efficacy against several variants.
The outbreaks are predicted to occur in the areas of unvaccinated people. It is likely that the death toll would not rise as it did in the last year, but the rate of infection might shoot up. Around 90% of patients that are hospitalized today are unvaccinated.
Be it the Lambda variant or the Delta variant, the only way to remain safe is to get vaccinated. Experts and officials are urging people through a number of tactics to trust the vaccines and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
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With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.