WHO reports on Lambda: the new variant of COVID-19 that is affecting South America

The variant originated in Peru in August 2020 and is now found in 29 countries.

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17, 2021

2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

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.

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.

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