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UVA doctor updates those in Charlottesville on Delta and Lambda variants

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 7:23 PM EDT

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With the Delta variant and breakthrough coronavirus cases on the rise, the University of Virginia is keeping a close eye on things around central Virginia.

There is a window of opportunity for a virus to mutate each time it is transmitted.

As coronavirus strains continue to develop and spread, Dr. Costi Sifri with UVA Health takes a look at the Lambda and Delta variants to provide advice on how to avoid them.

Right now, the Delta variant is the dominant strain in the U.S., causing 80% of cases.

The Lambda variant is currently found mainly in South America, but could become the new dominant strain.

“I think in most locations right now, the ability to be more transmissible is going to be the most important factor of a particular variant to beat out other variants,” Dr. Sifri said.

He says if Lambda was found to be more transmissible compared to Delta, we could see it take dominance in America.

Doctors at UVA are working to understand if these variants are so transmissible because people are contagious earlier on, or for a longer amount of time than with the baseline COVID-19.

“If there’s a variant that’s found to be more transmissible I think that helps inform what we can expect moving forward,” Dr. Sifri said.

That information could help doctors get ahead on what they do to treat a patient depending on what variant is involved.

Continued mask wearing and social distancing is helpful regardless of vaccination status.

Dr. Sifri says it is simply a matter of time before the Delta variant is more rampant in the Charlottesville area.

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