The mu and lambda variants of the coronavirus were spreading in the U.S. earlier than previously thought, but the delta variant might have stopped them from spreading.
Are the mu, lambda variants in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles public health officials told KTLA that the lambda and mu variants were spreading in the city back in the summer. However, the variants didn’t spread far because the delta variant was already in Los Angeles.
- Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, told KTLA the delta variant “crowded out all of the other previously circulating strains.” The delta variant now accounts for 100% of all cases in Los Angeles, she said.
- But some sequenced cases — which are COVID-19 test cases that are reviewed and inspected by scientists for potential variants — were sequenced back in the early part of summer, with results appearing only recently. The cases showed the mu and lambda variants were spreading. Right now, Los Angeles has identified 232 cases of the mu variant and 28 cases of the lambda variant, according to KTLA.
Will mu, lambda overtake delta variant?
Experts recently told The Wall Street Journal the delta variant is “well positioned to maintain its dominance” over other variants, like the lambda and mu variants.
- The experts said the delta variant will outperform the lambda and mu variants because the delta variant is already finding those who are still vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Similarly, Dr. Anna Durbin, a professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Newsweek that the lambda variant will not surpass the delta variant.
- “These viruses are all competing with each other for advantage to be the one that survives,” Durbin told Newsweek. “We know that the lambda variant has some of the same mutations as the delta variant that we think (will) allow it to be more transmissible, so it would be difficult to outcompete the delta variant.”