Lambda variant in the news

So I’m reading the Lambda variant out of Peru may be more infectious and deadly than Delta, and it may be more resistant to vaccines too.

However, they discovered the variant in December. If it were more infectious than Delta wouldn’t it have already become the primary variant by now the same way Alpha and Delta became primary variants due to higher infectivity? Then again I read on wikipedia the delta variant was discovered in India in late 2020 and only became dominant months later.

Also a few weeks ago there were concerns that a new variant in Vietnam combined some alpha and delta traits and became more seriously, then it turned out that it wasn’t really that big a deal.

Anyone know if the Lambda variant is actually a risk, or just hyperbole?

Have there been another 6 variants I’ve not heard much about? I guess so:

Since each variant can include characteristics of the previous one, I wonder why Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, and Kappa haven’t gotten much news.

Fox is not what I’d consider a reliable source on either scientific or medical information.

As for the question - viruses usually do mutate, so much so that a virus that didn’t mutate would indeed be newsworthy.

“Mutation” just means change. There’s nothing that says mutations are going to go one way rather than another. Viral mutations can make a virus less deadly or less contagious. If those other variants were less virulent I’m wouldn’t be surprised, and if they were less of a problem they wouldn’t make the news.

I’m going by what the article specifically says about each new variant, where it says that each one can contain aspects of the previous one.

We’re not merely talking mutations here: the labeled ones are specifically mutations of concern. Hence why Delta plus is not technically a variant yet, despite being a mutation on the existing Delta variant.

If I understand it correctly, a single infected patient can have colonies that emerge with different mutations, and this process of evolution continues until the immune system or drugs can completely arrest the replication process. I could envision several really bad mutation scenarios, including one in which the virus learns to hide or disguise itself from the immune system after an initial response (a la HIV).

As for which variants I worry about, it’s really about which ones are spreading the fastest and outcompeting other variants. In late 2020, we had a clear winner, the UK or alpha variant. Now we have a clear winner, the Indian or Delta variant.

Mutations can do weird things. SARS 1 was actually a far deadlier form of this virus, which spread quickly and wreaked havoc wherever it went. And then, it just disappeared. You could have potentially scarier mutations of COVID that do similar things, creating potentially more dangerous versions of the virus but for whatever reason stay localized. I probably wouldn’t worry about these many mutations - there could be untold numbers - until they start competing with the dominant strain that’s out there now, as that’s the one you’re most likely to be infected with.

You’d think that if the lambda variant was so transmissible, it would beat out the gamma variant from Brazil by now. It’s been around for nearly a year.

The good news is that it is no better at evading immunity than the other variants.