WHO reports on Lambda: the new variant of COVID-19 that is affecting South America
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Like living things, viruses evolve to survive, making them more difficult to eradicate. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that there is a new "variant of interest" of COVID-19 which has been called 'Lambda'. The variants are divided into two categories: of interest and of concern. The difference between the two is that those of concern can cause epidemiological problems and the others do not yet have that capacity.
This week we report the identification of a new lineage (variant) of SARS-CoV-2 that appears to be expanding rapidly in Peru and Chile. We call it C.37. I tell you what we know and do not know about it.- Pablo Tsukayama (@pablotsukayama) April 24, 2021
The Lambda variant originated in Peru and according to the WHO it is related to 81% of the cases detected since April in the country. It was first detected in August 2020 and according to GIS AID , today it has been found in 29 countries and occurs mainly in South America. The countries where it has a significant presence are Peru, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador.
The organization also said that after monitoring this variant, they saw that there is possible an increase in transmissibility and resistance to neutralizing antibodies . The Brazilian and British variant is circulating at rates similar to gamma and alpha.
Chile has not managed to lower its contagion cases and hospitals are still at maximum capacity and Peru became the nation with the highest mortality rate in the world at the end of May. The situation is worrying because the coronavirus has caused a lot of damage to South America and they have not managed to recover.