What is the Lambda Covid variant? UK stats, symptoms and more

6 July 2021, 15:27 | Updated: 6 July 2021, 15:43

The Lambda Covid variant was first detected in Peru.
The Lambda Covid variant was first detected in Peru. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

Cases of the Lambda Covid-19 variant have begun to grow more prominent around the world. Find out everything you need to know about the variant here.

The Lambda variant - also know as C.37 - was first detected in Peru in 2020.

As a current 'variant of interest' for the World Health Organisation (WHO), Lambda is being tracked across the world for further developments.

It has seen a rise in international cases - now present in at least 26 countries - and several mutations, but is most prominent in South America.

What are the UK stats for Lambda?

The number of confirmed cases of this variant remains very low across the UK.

Only eight cases have been found in England, according to Public Health England (PHE), with none in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland up to 30 June, as of 2 July.

Read more: Will social distancing end on July 19? The latest Covid rules explained

An earlier report from PHE revealed that there were six cases between 23 February and 7 June 2021, as of 22 June. No deaths were reported within 28 days.

All six cases reported by PHE were connected to overseas travel.

What are the symptoms?

As there is still only a small number of Lambda cases present in the UK at the moment, it is unclear if there are any specific symptoms associated with this variant.

The NHS has said that the main coronavirus symptoms are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to sense of smell or taste

They also say one in three people have no symptoms with Covid but can still infect others.

Is this variant more infectious?

The Delta variant of coronavirus caused particular concerns in the UK due to its increased transmissibility and drop in susceptibility to vaccines.

Read more: Delta Plus: India issues alert over new Covid 'variant of concern'

However, PHE said that research was still ongoing with the Lambda variant, so evidence of its full impact is limited.

"There is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective," it said.

"PHE is carrying out laboratory testing to better understand the impact of mutations on the behaviour of the virus."