As the state reels from the widespread delta variant, a major Texas hospital system has reported its first instance of the lambda COVID-19 variant.
The first lambda case was verified Monday at Houston Methodist Hospital, which has eight hospitals in its network.
According to the World Health Organization, the lambda variation was first discovered in Peru in August 2020, and it now accounts for 81 percent of COVID-19 cases sequenced in the nation since April 2021, according to a June WHO studies. Lambda is now classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization.
Last week, Houston Methodist Hospital had a little more than 100 COVID-19 patients. According to a statement published by the hospital Monday, the number of those sick has risen to 185, with the majority of those afflicted being unvaccinated.
According to hospital officials, the delta variation was found in roughly 85 percent of the illnesses.
“We’re witnessing a worrisome surge in the number of COVID-19 cases across the Houston region,” Houston Methodist stated, “with the greatest increase occurring over the weekend.” “The increasing hospitalizations put a strain on many of our hospitals, which are already overburdened.”
Dr. Marc Boom, president and CEO of the hospital, stated that “being vaccinated and reducing viral transmission” is “imperative.”
Despite the lambda variant’s discovery, scientists at Houston Methodist believe delta is still the most pressing worry in the United States.
“Peru has had a terrible time with COVID-19 because the lambda is the prevalent form. It has mutations in common with the alpha, beta, and gamma forms, the latter of which being the most prevalent in Brazil “According to ABC News, Dr. Wesley Long, medical head of Diagnostic Microbiology at Houston Methodist,
“I don’t believe there is enough data to suggest that we should be more concerned about lambda than delta at this time; I still believe delta is our major worry. There’s a lot more evidence that delta is considerably more infectious, with significantly greater viral loads “Added he.
In a June study, the WHO stated that the lambda variation “has been associated with substantial rates of community transmission in various countries, with growing frequency over time along with increased COVID-19 incidence.” The variation was discovered in 29 nations in June.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a Senate hearing Tuesday that the delta variant, which was initially discovered in India in December, currently accounts for around 83 percent of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in the United States. Delta is classified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization.
Long stated that while positive rates and hospitalizations have increased at Houston Methodist, the situation on the ground is still “way below” the winter high.
“The number of [infections] is on the rise. How many more instances do you think we’ll get?” Long remarked. “To help reduce the spread of COVID, we’ll need more people to be vaccinated, and those who aren’t vaccinated in particular to follow all of the safety measures we learned during the epidemic. All of these things are crucial in keeping the delta wave under control.”
According to official data, 51 percent of the state’s population aged 12 and up is completely immunized.