Lambda variant of COVID-19 emerges in UK: All you need to know about strain originally discovered in Peru-Health News , Firstpost

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The Lambda variant was originally discovered in Peru and 81 percent of the coronavirus cases in the country since April are related to the strain

Representational image. Shutterstock

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The UK health department recorded the emergence of the Lambda variant of COVID-19 , even as Delta Plus and Delta variants continue to remain a cause of concern in India and abroad.

About the Lambda variant

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The UK health department added Lambda variant (C.37) to its list of ‘variants under investigation’ (VUI) due to international expansion. Six cases of Lambda have been identified across the UK to date, all have been linked to overseas travel.

The Lambda variant, which lies within the B.1.1.1 lineage, has been identified in as many as 29 countries, including North and South America, Europe and Oceania.

WHO said variant has multiple mutations in the spike protein that could have an impact on its transmissibility but more studies are needed to fully understand the mutations.

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Lambda variant in Peru

The Lambda variant was originally discovered in Peru and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified it as a “Variant of Interest” on 14 June. It is related to 81 percent of the coronavirus cases in Peru since April.

Lambda variant in India

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India has not recorded any Lambda variant cases yet, however, it has seen a surge in Delta and Delta Plus variant cases. Maharashtra recently recorded the first death due to infection from the Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 . Experts believe the opening of air travel may bring the Lambda variant to India.

Lambda variant: Symptoms and vaccine effectiveness

UK’s National Health Service has said symptoms normally associated with any other variant of coronavirus like fever, loss of smell and taste, among others, are likely to be associated with Lambda variant as well.

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According to UK health officials, there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. But Public Health England said it is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

Other COVID-19 variants

The Lambda variant of COVID-19 is the latest to be emerging, with other variants being found in countries across the world since the pandemic began last year. After B.1.1.7 (Alpha); B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), B.1.427 and B.1.429 (Epsilon), B.1.617.2 (Delta) and Delta Plus variants were found.

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