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Lambda variant Houston Methodist Hospital reports its 1st case of lambda COVID19

Lambda variant Houston Methodist Hospital reports its 1st case of lambda COVID19

Lambda variant Houston Methodist Hospital reports its 1st case of lambda COVID19

Texas hospital reports first case of lambda COVID-19 variant | TheHill Wed, 21 Jul 2021 05:00:00 -0700-A major Texas hospital system has reported its first case of the lambda COVID-19 variant, as the state reels from the rampant delta variant.

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Texas hospital reports its 1st case of lambda COVID-19 variant

July 21, 2021

HOUSTON — A major Texas hospital system has reported its first case of the lambda COVID-19 variant, as the state reels from the rampant delta variant.Houston Methodist Hospital, which operates eight hospitals in its network, said the first lambda case was confirmed Monday.The lambda variant was first detected in Peru in December 2020, according to the World Health Organization and makes up 81% of COVID-19 cases sequenced in the country since April 2021, according to a June WHO report. Currently, WHO designates lambda as a “variant of interest.”Houston Methodist had a little over 100 COVID-19 patients across the hospital system last week. That number rose to 185 Monday, with a majority of those infected being unvaccinated, according to a statement released by the hospital Monday.Among those infections, about 85% have been diagnosed with the delta variant, hospital officials said.”We're seeing an alarming spike in the number of COVID-19 cases across the Houston area, with the steepest increase happening over the weekend,” Houston Methodist said. “The increased hospitalizations add stress to many of our hospitals that are nearing capacity.”Hospital president and CEO Dr. Marc Boom stressed it is “imperative” that the community “get vaccinated and decrease virus spread.”Despite the report of the lambda variant, experts at Houston Methodist say delta is still the primary concern in the U.S.”The lambda is the dominant variant in Peru and Peru has had a very difficult time with COVID-19. It shares mutations in common with the alpha variants, the beta, the gamma, which is the dominant variant in Brazil,” Dr. Wesley Long, medical director of Diagnostic Microbiology at Houston Methodist, told ABC News.”I don't think there's sufficient evidence at this point that we should be more concerned about lambda than delta, I still think delta is the primary concern for us. There's a lot more evidence that we have that delta is much more contagious, the viral loads are much higher,” he added.The lambda variant “has been associated with substantive rates of community transmission in multiple countries, with rising prevalence over time concurrent with increased COVID-19 incidence,” the WHO said in its June report. In June, the variant was detected in 29 countries.The delta variant, which was first detected in India in December, now accounts for about 83% of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in the United States, Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a Senate hearing Tuesday. The WHO designates delta as a “variant of concern.”Long noted that Houston Methodist has seen its positivity rate increase and hospitalizations rise, but the situation on the ground is still “far below” the winter peak.”[Infections are] on the increase. How many more cases are we going to get?” Long said. “We're going to need more folks to get vaccinated and folks who aren't vaccinated in particular to practice all the safe practices that we learned through the pandemic to help slow the spread of COVID. All those are critically important to keep this delta wave under control.”

At the moment, 51% of Texas' state population aged 12 and up is fully vaccinated, according to state data.


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Houston Methodist Hospital reports its 1st case of lambda COVID-19 … Wed, 21 Jul 2021 05:00:00 -0700-A Texas hospital system on Monday confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 lambda variant that was first detected in Peru and has quickly spread throughout …

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Texas hospital reports first case of lambda COVID-19 variant

July 21, 2021

A Texas hospital system on Monday confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 lambda variant that was first detected in Peru and has quickly spread throughout South America.

Houston Methodist Hospital, a Texas hospital system with eight facilities, confirmed its first lambda case on Monday ABC News reported.

Data on the lambda variant is currently limited, though it has been designated as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization. The designation places it apart from a “variant of concern” such as the delta variant.

News of this new variant in Texas comes as cases in the U.S. have surged, with health officials stating that the highly contagious delta variant has become the dominant strain of coronavirus in the country. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyOvernight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul – again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases Major medical associations release PSA urging vaccination CDC director: Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of all COVID-19 cases in US MORE said Tuesday that the delta variant now makes up for more than 80 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. 

The director has previously stated that the pandemic will now become one that directly effects the unvaccinated, and U.S. health officials, in addition to the Biden administration, have pushed for Americans to get the shot. 

Wesley Long, medical director of Diagnostic Microbiology at Houston Methodist, told ABC that there is not enough evidence to suggest that the lambda variant is of more concern than the delta strain at this moment. 

“I don't think there's sufficient evidence at this point that we should be more concerned about lambda than delta. I still think delta is the primary concern for us. There's a lot more evidence that we have that delta is much more contagious, the viral loads are much higher,” he said. 

ABC reports that the number of COVID-19 cases at Houston Methodist have nearly doubled in the past week, going from just over 100 last week to 185 on Monday.

“We're seeing an alarming spike in the number of COVID-19 cases across the Houston area, with the steepest increase happening over the weekend,” the hospital system told ABC. “The increased hospitalizations add stress to many of our hospitals that are nearing capacity.”


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– July 21, 2021

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