Lambda variant symptoms: How does Lambda variant differ from Delta?

Dr Hilary says Lambda covid variant is ‘concern’

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Covid variants remain the sole drivers of the UK’s epidemic, powering tens of thousands of cases a day. The Delta strain is the latest to assume dominance, with cases surging over the last two months. Now the Lambda variant, which scientists first discovered in Peru, is the latest to elude health officials with a range of “unusual” mutations.

How does the Lambda variant differ from Delta?

Despite its comparatively limited presence, Lambda appeared around roughly the same time as Delta.

Health authorities detected it for the first time in Peru in late 2020, and it has since spread to 27 other nations.

Mercifully, the concentration of cases is presently low, but that could rapidly change.

Over the last two months, Lambda has caused 82 percent of Peru’s new Covid cases.

And one early study from the University of Chile has found mutations in its spike protein enhance its ability to infect and work around the immune system.

The paper is yet to be peer-reviewed, but found mutations “confer increased infectivity and immune escape”.

Researchers added these mutations allowed it to escape bodily defences afforded by China’s CoronaVac vaccine.

Scientists discovered similar mutations behind the Delta variant.

These findings are preliminary, however, and investigators have acknowledged how little they know so far.

Jairo Méndez Rico, who advises the Pan-American Health Organisation on emerging viral diseases, told the Financial Times there is “no evidence” suggesting it is more aggressive.

He added it is “possible” Lambda has a “higher rate of contagion”, however.

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Further research will need to identify any varying symptoms, as they have not found any just yet.

People should keep an eye out for general Covid symptoms, however.

These include:

  • A new, continuous cough
  • High temperature (38C+)
  • A loss or change in sense of smell or taste

The University of Chile researchers acknowledged the need for further analysis in their paper.

They concluded countries with effective Covid vaccination programmes should also conduct “strict genomic surveillance”.

Such surveillance is currently missing in Latin American nations, which are, on average, less equipped for investigation.

As such, there is not yet a complete picture of the extent of Lambda’s presence on the continent.

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