South Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported that it had recorded at least two cases of the new coronavirus delta-plus variant, which some experts believe to be more transmissible than the original delta variant that was first detected in India and has since thwarted plans for returning to life before the pandemic.
It has been detected in several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States and India. The variant was listed as one of the major concerns in the international health agency, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said it will continue to evaluate its independent classification.
The Lambda variant has attracted attention as a potential new threat. But this version of the coronavirus, first identified in Peru in December, maybe receding, several infectious disease experts told Reuters. The WHO classifies Lambda as a variant of interest, meaning it carries mutations suspected of causing a change in transmissibility or causing more severe disease, but it is still under investigation. Lab studies show it has mutations that resist vaccine-induced antibodies. Dr Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, said the percentage of new Lambda cases reported to GISAID, a database that tracks SARS-CoV-2 variants, has been dropping a sign that the variant is here.
In a recent call with the CDC, disease experts said Lambda did not appear to be causing increased transmissibility, and vaccines appear to be holding up well against it, said Dr William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre who attended the discussion.