While it may seem like the Lambda variant has suddenly reared its head, The World Health Organization declared Lambda a "variant of interest" on June 15.

Indeed, while concern was raised about Delta, the variant has been rapidly spreading across much of South America, having first been found in Peru. 

How dangerous is this variant?

A study into the virus in Chile found that Lambda mutations present in the variant spike protein, boosting its ability to infect and making it highly transmittable. 

The variant is particularly transmittable and is now one of the more dominant Covid variants in Peru, with the variant making up about 81% of cases.

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However, there is hope with Chile having grappled the variant from 50% of sequenced cases three months ago to around 23% now.

Lambda v Delta

The Delta variant also started as a "variant of interest." before cases rocketed making it a "variant of concern'

Nathaniel Landau, a microbiologist at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, told the New York Times. "There's no reason to think that this is now something worse than Delta."

Indeed a study found that Lambda is comparable to or a little less infective than the Delta variant.

Does the Lambda variant evade vaccines?

More research needs to be carried out to detect exactly what can prevent the variant, with concern over the ability in South America to properly track the variant. 

New research from the US has given an early indication that the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – will still provide protection against the variant,

Marco Binder, a virologist at the German Cancer Research Center, has suggested that preprint vaccines will still neutralise or control infections in Lambada cases. 

However, according to lab studies in a recent preprint paper by Japanese researchers that has not yet been peer-reviewed, the variant could be slightly more resistant to vaccines. 

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The paper read: "Because the Lambda variant is relatively resistant to the vaccine-induced antisera (blood serum containing antibodies against specific antigens), it might be possible that this variant is feasible to cause breakthrough infection." 

What are the symptoms of the Lambda variant?

The symptoms of the Lambda variant are reported to be similar to the original coronavirus strain.

Is the Lambda variant in the UK?

The UK is one of 27 countries the Lambda variant is known to have been found in.