BATON ROUGE, La. - The new COVID Lambda variant has been detected in Louisiana, doctors told WBRZ Thursday.
It was first reported in the U.S. in Houston and health care officials believe since Texas and Louisiana share a border, the virus variant was easily spread.
"I do know that with the proximity with Texas, there have been a few cases detected in North Louisiana with the Lamda variant. But we don't know whether this is going to be a more aggressive or less aggressive virus," Dr. Aldo Russo, the medical director at Ochsner said.
Russo said the Lambda variant has not been detected in the capital region yet, but health care professionals are testing for it.
"We are monitoring this very closely. Our teams are sequencing the different variants," Russo said.
The Lambda variant was first reported in Peru in December and has become the dominant strain of the virus there. It's concerning for the country because the vaccine used in Peru is not effective against this new variant.
"They have stated that there may be some resistance to the vaccine, but that it was a different vaccine that they were using. They were using the Chinese vaccine," Russo said.
It's unknown how well the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will help control this new variant.
"It's too early to tell, but we do think the vaccine is working against [the] variant as well," Russo said.
Russo echoed health care messages from most everywhere else: The best way to combat the Lambda variant is to increase the vaccination rate.