Tech & Science dictionary

Lambda variant

or lambda variant or Lambda Variant [ lam-duh vair-ee-uhnt ]

What is the Lambda variant?

The Lambda variant is a variant of the COVID-19 virus. Lambda variant is the common name used to refer to what is technically known as the C.37 variant.

A variant of a virus is a new strain that has emerged due to a mutation (or mutations) in the virus’s genetic structure.

The Lambda variant was first recorded in South America.

Use and awareness of the name Lambda variant became more common in news reports and public health communications in the summer of 2021 as an increasing number of variants of the COVID-19 virus were reported, including the Delta variant (whose discovery preceded the Lambda variant).

Related words

Delta variant, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, anti-masker, vaccine hesitancy, twindemic

Where does Lambda variant come from?

The Lambda variant is believed to have emerged in Peru in late 2020. In the name Lambda variant, the word lambda refers to the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet. Greek letters have been used by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the naming of COVID-19 variants, including those named Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. In June 2021, the WHO classified the Lambda variant as a “Variant of Interest,” meaning its genetic changes could make it more severe and transmissible. (The Delta variant was changed from a “Variant of Interest” to the more serious classification of “Variant of Concern” in May 2021.)

The name Lambda variant became more well-known in 2021 as the media increasingly reported on emerging variants of COVID-19.

Examples of Lambda variant

just read up on the lambda variant and have decided that i’m never leaving the house again 🙏
@heyprude, August 9, 2021
The exact origins of the Lambda variant remain unclear, but scientists say the Andean strain emerged in South America. Since its rapid transmission, Lambda now represents more than 90 percent of the COVID-19 cases in Peru.
Katherine Fung, Newsweek, August 9, 2021

Who uses Lambda variant?

The name Lambda variant is the most common way to refer to the COVID-19 variant that’s technically known as C.37. This name is used by health experts and in media reports.


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