Lambda variant detected in Austria for the first time

Lambda variant detected in Austria for the first time
Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
The highly contagious Lambda variant has been detected in Austria for the first time.

The variant, which has mostly been detected in Latin America, was found in a passenger from Peru in the state of Lower Austria.

State Health Councilor Ulrike Königsberger-Ludwig said the person has already recovered and the variant has not spread as there are no other cases.

“After a private visit to the Gänserndorf district, the man was then tested positive,” she said. 

“Due to the rapid separation by the district administration, the man should not have infected anyone. There are no known consequences”. 

READ MORE: What is the risk of catching Covid-19 in Austria when already vaccinated?

The tourist is believed to have left Austria already. 

Experts are concerned about the variant due to its high level of infectiousness and its ability to “evade the immune system particularly well”.

In July, Japanese researchers warned that Lambda could form “a potential threat to human society”.

“The lambda variant actually seems to be more infectious and the immunity that results from the vaccination will probably not protect as it does against the other variants,” virologist Christoph Steininger from MedUni Vienna told Kurier. 

The variant was first detected in Peru in August of 2020. The variant has since been detected in 40 countries across the globe, with Austria now the 41st, reports Kurier. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) divides variants into two groups: variants of concern and variants under observation. 

Lambda is considered the latter by the WHO. 

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