Texas hospital reports its 1st case of lambda COVID-19 variant

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ABC News 20 July, 2021 - 12:58pm 24 views

COVID-19 Texas: Houston Methodist Hospital reports 1st case of Lambda variant

KTRK-TV 20 July, 2021 - 03:10pm

Fully vaccinated people are protected against Delta variant

Houston Methodist sees 'alarming spike' in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations; identifies its first case of Lambda variant

KPRC Click2Houston 20 July, 2021 - 03:10pm

According to the hospital, staff reported the steepest increase of cases over the weekend, adding stress to many of its hospitals that are nearing capacity.

Officials with Houston Methodist said it had a little over 100 COVID-19 patients across its hospital system, but as of Monday, it has more than 185 COVID-19 patients. According to officials, the majority of its hospitalizations are those who are unvaccinated. About 85% of its hospitalized COVID-19 patients have the Delta variant, officials said.

Dr. Marc Boom, President and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital, said the Delta variant is a top concern.

“We’re seeing it move out of control and frankly more rapidly than any of us would’ve expected,” Dr. Boom said. “[Delta has] been doubling every seven days so there’s no question what we’re seeing now is a much more contagious.”

The hospital also identified its first Lambda variant, a strain that was most common in South America but is now officially in the Houston area.

“We’ve all been enjoying an almost normal life as of late which is really a wonderful thing. That is all thanks to vaccines and all thanks to the people who have stepped up and gotten vaccinated,” Dr. Boom said.

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'Lambda' variant detected as Houston COVID cases, hospitalizations continue to climb, Houston Methodist says

KHOU.com 20 July, 2021 - 03:10pm

HOUSTON — A spokesperson for Houston Methodist said Monday there is an "alarming spike in the number of COVID-19 cases across the Houston area, with the steepest increase happening over the weekend."

Most of the new cases continue to be the Delta variant, although they have now seen their first Lambda variant as well.

ALSO READ: What is the Lambda variant?

"The increased hospitalizations add stress to many of our hospitals that are nearing capacity," stated Houston Methodist in a press release. "A week ago today, Houston Methodist had a little over 100 COVID-19 patients across our hospital system. Today we have more than 185 COVID-19 patients."

Dr. Marc Boom said it is imperative "we, as a community, step up our vigilance and impress upon people to get vaccinated and decrease virus spread."

Last Thursday, KHOU 11 reported that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were still at some of the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic, but the numbers overall were once again moving in the wrong direction.

ALSO READ: COVID cases on the rise across Houston area

ALSO READ: All students should wear masks in school this fall, top pediatrics group says

Memorial Hermann last week reported a 50% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations as almost every county in the area is seeing an increase in new cases. KHOU 11 analyzed health department data and found daily new cases in the Greater Houston area have jumped about 65% in the last two weeks. The seven-day moving average, as of July 15th, was 588 new cases a day.

More than 159 million people in the Unites States have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to CDC data released on July 12. 

During the same period, the agency reported 5,492 patients nationwide with COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections had been hospitalized or died. According to the CDC, 75% of those patients were 65 or older and 19% of those cases resulted in death.

(AP) — Stocks are falling sharply Monday as worries sweep from Wall Street to Sydney that the worsening pandemic in hotspots around the world will derail what's been a strong economic recovery.

The S&P 500 was 1.9% lower in morning trading, after setting a record high just a week earlier. In another sign of worry, the yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped close to its lowest level in five months. It sank below 1.20% as investors scrambled for safer places to put their money.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 769 points, or 2.2%, at 33,918, as of 10:17 a.m. Eastern time. The Nasdaq composite was 1.7% lower.

Airlines, hotels and stocks of other companies that would get hurt the most by potential COVID-19 restrictions were taking some of the heaviest losses, similar to the early days of the pandemic in February and March 2020. Mall owner Simon Property Group tumbled 7.8%, and cruise operator Carnival lost 7.5%.

READ: Health care workers urge you to wear a mask, even if you're vaccinated

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Houston Methodist confirms its 1st lambda variant case

Becker's Hospital Review 20 July, 2021 - 03:10pm

Houston Methodist Hospital has identified its first COVID-19 hospitalization linked to the lambda variant, the Houston Chronicle reported July 19.

The variant was first detected in Peru in August 2020 and has since been circulating in South America. About 800 lambda cases have been reported in the U.S., 30 of which occurred in the last month, according to the Houston Chronicle.

It is still unclear whether lambda is more contagious than other variants, and there is no reason to suspect it would significantly affect vaccine efficacy, according to S. Wesley Long, MD, PhD, medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist.

"While they will be watching lambda closely, Houston Methodist's genome sequencing experts are not overly concerned about lambda compared to delta," Dr. Long said in a statement to Becker's. "The massive spike in delta, severe infections and hospitalizations is what's cause for concern right now and vaccination is our best defense."

Overall, COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped 70 percent at Houston Methodist Hospital in the past week. As of July 19, the hospital had 184 COVID-19 inpatients, double the number of patients seen July 1.

Nearly every patient was not vaccinated and about 85 percent were infected by the delta variant, Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom, MD, wrote in an email to staff that was obtained by the Houston Chronicle. 

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