Corona ‘lambda mutation’ concerns growing from South America… “It’s not something to worry about in advance”

Citizens wait for the order of vaccination at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Fiyaro, Ecuador, on the 8th (local time). Piyaro = AP News

There is also growing concern about a mutant virus named ‘lambda’ following the ‘delta mutation’ of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on the 13th (local time), the lambda (C.37) mutation was first identified in Peru, South America, in December last year.

Since not all virus mutations are dangerous, the WHO designates and manages ‘variants of concern’ and ‘mutations of interest’ in consideration of whether there are changes in transmission power or fatality rate compared to existing viruses, and whether vaccines are effective.

Mutations found in the UK, South Africa, Brazil, and India are named alpha, beta, gamma, and delta in sequence.

As for the mutations of interest one notch lower than that, there are four types including lambda added on the 14th of last month, eta, yota, and kappa.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) last month, in the two months since April, 80% of new COVID-19 cases in Peru were infected with the lambda mutation. The ratio of lambda mutations in Argentina and Chile was about one-third.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez, who tested positive for COVID-19 in April, was also reported to have contracted the lambda mutation.

At the time, President Fernandez was infected even after receiving two doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

Currently, lambda mutations have been confirmed in about 30 countries, including South American countries, the United States, and some European countries.

In particular, there is a growing concern that there is no precise study on the propagation power of lambda mutations.

In an article analyzing the lambda mutation on the 8th, the New York Times said, “It is not clear whether lambda is more contagious than other mutations, the symptoms of infected people are more severe, and the effectiveness of the vaccine is reduced.”

“There is no reason to think that lambda mutations are more dangerous than delta,” Nathaniel Landau, a microbiology professor at New York University who studied the lambda mutation, told The New York Times.

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