The Lambda variant of the coronavirus is a strain of the initial COVID-19 virus that was initially discovered in Peru in Aug. 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
On June 14, 2021, the agency named the strain after the Greek letter “Lambda” and declared it a “variant of interest,” meaning it could be more dangerous than the initial strain of the coronavirus.
However, it was not labeled a “variant of concern” because there is not enough reliable data that shows the variant contains worrying characteristics or is transmissible such as the Delta variant.
Scientists say the variant is worth watching because of Lambda’s prevalence in several countries and its mutations.
Here are some of the symptoms that commonly present themselves in the Lambda variant of COVID-19.
Currently, the symptoms of the Lambda variant are similar to that of the initial COVID-19 strain. Common symptoms that present themselves with the Lambda variant include the following:
- High fever
- Body pain
- Loss of taste or smell
- Trouble breathing
It is advisable for anyone who has these symptoms to contact a medical professional.
It is unclear if Lambda is more transmissible than other variants, whether or not it causes more serious disease or whether vaccines are less effective because of the strain.
Preliminary laboratory studies, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, give signs of hope and concern.
These studies found that the antibodies that the body produces after being injected with the Pfizer, Moderna and CoronaVac vaccines are less powerful against the Lambda variant than against the initial strain.
However, the studies also found that these vaccines were still able to neutralize the virus.
The emergence of the Lambda variant is a reminder that not all COVID-19 cases are the same, which means people should be careful regardless of vaccination status and follow public health guidelines.
Dr. Sandra Adams, a professor of biology and virologist at Montclair State University, said people can protect themselves from the variants of COVID-19 by becoming vaccinated if they have not yet received one and following CDC public health recommendations.
“Unvaccinated people should get one of the vaccines and become fully vaccinated,” she said. “Vaccinated people do have protection against the variant but should still follow CDC recommendations. These include washing hands frequently, wearing a face covering in crowds and in poorly ventilated spaces.”
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