The Coronavirus Lambda variant, while not as widespread in the United States as the Delta variant, is a variant of interest for health organizations. Although the Lambda currently accounts for less than one percent of all infections in the United States, its track record in South America does give health officials cause for concern, however. Here is what you need to know about the Coronavirus Lambda variant.
The Lambda variant is a new strand of the original Coronavirus that came to light in late 2020. According to the CDC, there have been multiple variants of COVID-19 in the United States. However, at this point, the original strand that infected people back in January 2020 is no longer circulating and new variants are continuing to increase. You can find information on tracking the different variants on the World Health Organization’s website. The Lambda variant is currently designated by the WHO as a “variant of interest,” which is one designation lower than the Delta variant at “variant of concern.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Lambda variant was first identified in December of 2020 in Peru. It received its designation on June 14th, 2021.
The CDC website shares a great analogy on the development of variants: “If you think about a virus like a tree growing and branching out; each branch on the tree is slightly different than the others. By comparing the branches, scientists can label them according to the differences. These small differences, or variants, have been studied and identified since the beginning of the pandemic.”
According to CNN, the COVID-19 vaccines administered in the United States are highly effective in preventing severe disease and death- and that includes the Lambda variant. However, no vaccine is 100% effective. In some instances, it is possible that full vaccinated people will be infected (which is called a breakthrough infection). In an instance of breakthrough infection where a vaccinated person becomes symptomatic, their vaccine will still provide effective protection against serious illness and death. Vaccines can also shorten the length of time one experiences symptoms from the virus.
“Thankfully studies suggest that the currently available vaccines remain protective. We have learned during the pandemic that things can change quickly, so controlling the spread of COVID-19 in general will help manage Lambda,” according to Dr. Preeti Malani via CNN. However, as testing is ongoing, it is vital that vaccinated individuals remain vigilant and continue taking safety precautions such as wearing a mask, staying six feet away from others, and washing your hands regularly.
Vaccines play a vital role in limiting the spread of the virus and minimizing severe disease and/or death. According to the CDC, low vaccination rates in many areas, neighborhoods, and communities is the driving force behind the rapid spike in cases of Coronavirus infections.
According to Dr. Malani, “As long as there is uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2, we will see more variants in the future. The only way out is widespread vaccination to control spread and prevent further mutation of SARS-CoV-2. It’s a race between getting enough of the world vaccinated and the development of new variants that are less responsive to counter measures.” Therefore, unvaccinated individuals are of the greatest concern when it comes to variants. The greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are more likely to contract, and therefore, transmit the virus.
Yes. In most, if not all cases, the same testing that has been done since the beginning of the pandemic will detect whether you are carrying the virus. Tests such as the Medek COVID-19 Rapid Antigen test have even been tested against different variants. In the case of the Medek COVID-19 Rapid Antigen test, results have shown that the lambda variant “does not affect the performance of the screening.”
COVID-19 is not political- it’s medical. As the virus spreads, it has new opportunities to change. It will become more difficult to stop. It’s vital that we all stay vigilant and do our best to be caring, responsible members of our community. Taking recommended safety measures, testing regularly with test kits, and getting vaccinated, are all ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.
With Medek Test Kits you can keep yourself safe at any place. Whether it be at work or at home Medek test kits give you an instant safety of mind knowing if you are positive or not within 10 minutes. Don’t put people at risk. Get tested today.