Houston hospital reports its first case of the COVID-19 Lambda variant


A Texas hospital system that operates eight medical centers in its network has reported its first case of the Lambda variant of COVID-19 which has been blamed for coronavirus infections in Peru.

Houston Methodist Hospital confirmed on Monday that it was treating a patient who contracted the Lambda variant of the coronavirus. Epidemiologists have reported at least 731 instances of the variant in patients all across the United States.

Experts say the Lambda, which has the same types of mutations found in the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants, isn’t nearly as worrisome as the Indian Delta variant that is responsible for the nationwide surge in cases and hospitalizations.

It is also said to have a similar mutation found in Delta that that could explain why it more easily infects lung cells. 

The news comes as Texas public health officials reported 3,319 new hospitalizations statewide on Tuesday – 273 more than the number announced on Monday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services also reported nearly 1,000 new probable cases on Tuesday. Twenty-four people died of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Cases are on the rise in Texas as just 49 percent of residents there have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Just 42 percent have been fully vaccinated – a figure that is well below other states. 

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 3.04 million Texans have contracted coronavirus. Some 53,000 have died. 

Houston Methodist Hospital confirmed on Monday that it was treating a patient who contracted the Lambda variant of the coronavirus

Experts say the Lambda has the same types of mutations found in the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants. It is also said to have a similar mutation found in Delta that that could explain why it more easily infects lung cells

Experts say the Lambda has the same types of mutations found in the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants. It is also said to have a similar mutation found in Delta that that could explain why it more easily infects lung cells

The surge comes as the Indian Delta variant ravages the US, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that it is responsible for 83 percent of coronavirus cases in the country.

The Lambda variant, which was once thought to be even more contagious than Delta, was first reported in Peru in December 2020, according to the World Health Organization.

Peru has one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. The Lambda variant is believed to account for some 80 percent of cases in the country.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 187,000 Peruvians have died of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Nearly two million people have been infected, though experts believe the actual number could be much higher.

Texas, like most of the country, has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases driven in large by the Indian Delta variant

Texas, like most of the country, has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases driven in large by the Indian Delta variant

Texas public health officials said that there were more than 3,300 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 and nearly 1,000 new probably cases

Texas public health officials said that there were more than 3,300 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 and nearly 1,000 new probably cases

The number of fatalities, however, remains low. Twenty-four people died of COVID-19 on Tuesday

The number of fatalities, however, remains low. Twenty-four people died of COVID-19 on Tuesday

Texas officials reported that more than 3,300 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday

Texas officials reported that more than 3,300 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday

The Lambda variant has since spread to at least 31 other countries, including the United States, though experts believe that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against it.

New York University Grossman School of Medicine researchers found antibodies triggered by MRNA jabs still neutralized the Lambda variant in laboratory studies.

It is not proof the jabs definitely work in thwarting the strain — but the scientists are confident.

Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines are based on mRNA technology, which had never been used to make jabs until the COVID pandemic.

Experts believe that the Lambda variant has been quietly circulating in the US for months.

Testing of coronavirus samples in dozens of states have confirmed the presence of the Lambda variant, according to the GISAID web site, which tracks genome sequencing of collected samples.

As of Wednesday, there have been at least 731 total reported instances of the Lambda variant.

In June, Lambda was added to the WHO’s variant watch list, but infectious disease experts believe that the variant isn’t nearly as troublesome as the highly contagious and rapidly spreading Delta variant.

‘It is not anywhere near as concerning as the Delta variant,’ S. Wesley Long, medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist Hospital, told The Washington Post.

‘That’s the engine that’s going to be driving the surge in the US.’

Deaths have continued to remain relatively flat with 29 recorded on Tuesday and a seven-day rolling average of 274, 6.6% from the average of 257 recorded three weeks prior

Deaths have continued to remain relatively flat with 29 recorded on Tuesday and a seven-day rolling average of 274, 6.6% from the average of 257 recorded three weeks prior

The U.S. recorded 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 37,056, which is a 244% from the 10,771 average recorded three weeks ago

The U.S. recorded 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 37,056, which is a 244% from the 10,771 average recorded three weeks ago

Long told Axios: ‘There’s a lot more evidence that we have that Delta is much more contagious, the viral loads are much higher.’ 

Health officials say the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to surge and accounts for an estimated 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases.

That’s a dramatic increase from the week of July 3, when the variant accounted for about 50 percent of genetically sequenced coronavirus cases.

‘The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants is to prevent the spread of disease, and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have,’ said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

The Delta variant is a mutated coronavirus that spreads more easily than other versions.

It was first detected in India but now has been identified around the world.

COVID cases are on the rise across the United States. The US recorded more than 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of nearly 37,056.

Just three weeks ago, the seven-day rolling average was 10,678 new cases.

Every state aside from Iowa has seen infections rise or hold steady in the last week, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

Additionally, 298 COVID-19 deaths were recorded on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 274.

Fatalities, which are a lagging indicator, have not dramatically risen but instead have slightly increased by 6.6 percent from the average of 257 recorded three weeks prior.



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