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The lambda COVID variant is more contagious than the original COVID-19, doctor says

The lambda variant of the coronavirus may be more contagious than we think

A rapid COVID-19 test is administered by Utah National Guard Spc. Sam Sargent at the Utah State Fairpark.
Binita Hona, left, receives a rapid COVID-19 test from Utah National Guard Specialist Sam Sargent, right, at the Utah State Fair Park on Monday, May 17, 2021. Concerns grow of the delta and lambda variant of the coronoavirus.
Annie Barker, Deseret News

The lambda variant of the coronavirus continues to linger as a possible new mutation to circulate through the United States. But how concerned should you be about the variant?

Is the lambda variant more contagious?

Dr. William Schaffner, who works with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, recently told WVIT-TV that the lambda variant is more contagious than the alpha variant of the coronavirus — the original strain that circulated throughout the country in 2020.

Still, he said there’s no data that explains how sick each variant can make you. The best thing you can do, he said, is get vaccinated since the COVID-19 vaccines can tackle each of the three variants.

Delta vs. lambda variant: Which is more dangerous?

S. Wesley Long, medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist Hospital, told The Washington Post that the delta variant is still more concerning because it’s driving a surge right now.

  • “It (the lambda variant) is not anywhere near as concerning as the delta variant,” Long told The Washington Post. “That’s the engine that’s going to be driving the surge in the U.S.”

How far as the lambda variant spread?

We don’t know. A Houston hospital said it has found its first case of the lambda variant there last week, but there hasn’t been much data out there about how far the lambda variant has moved throughout the country. Public health officials are still concerned with the delta variant.