Scientists are concerned that a highly contagious new COVID-19 strain devastating Peru may be immune to vaccinations. The Lambda mutation, or C.37, appears to have originated in Peru last August and is now being blamed for the country having the world’s highest pandemic death rate.
The strain has since spread to some 30 nations, especially Latin America – but also the United Kingdom, which, depending on government estimates, has documented at least eight instances.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are no known cases of Lambda strain in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, the Lambda variant has accounted for 81 percent of new infections tested for variations in Peru since April.
The Johns Hopkins University said that the South American country currently has by far the highest death rate in the world.
Almost 10 percent of those reported as infected die – almost double the death rate for the next country, Hungary, with approximately 600 people per 100,000 population. The figures indicate. The US is number 21, killing less than 185 per 100,000.
The World Health Organization (WHO) last month declared Lambda a variety of interests, stating it was “associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries.”
“Lambda carries a number of mutations” that may have led to “potential increased transmissibility or possible increased resistance to neutralizing antibodies,” the WHO said.
In a recent study, released in a preprint last week, scientists in Chile, where Lambda is accused of over one-third of illnesses in China, have also warned that vaccines appear to avoid better than other strains.
“Our data show for the first time that mutations present in the spike protein of the Lambda variant confer escape to neutralizing antibodies and increased infectivity,” the University of Chile researchers in Santiago wrote.
That could explain why it has been able to take hold despite Chile “undergoing a massive vaccination program,” the study warned.
However, the WHO has stated that “further research is necessary to establish the sustained efficacy of vaccines” against the new strain.