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Photo: Francois Picard/AFP via Getty Images

A Texas hospital reported its first case of the Lambda COVID-19 variant as cases rise across the state, ABC News writes.

The big picture: The Lambda variant was first detected in Peru last August. From this April through June, the variant made up 81% of COVID-19 cases in Peru, according to the World Health Organization.

Driving the news: Houston Methodist Hospital reported its first case of the Lambda COVID-19 variant on Monday.

  • The hospital had a little more than 100 COVID-19 patients across the eight hospitals in its network last week, but that number rose to 185 as of Monday. The majority of the infections are in those who remain unvaccinated.
  • 85% have been diagnosed with the Delta variant, per ABC News, which is the top concern across the U.S. as it accounts for 83% of nationwide cases.

What they're saying: "I don't think there's sufficient evidence at this point that we should be more concerned about lambda than delta, I still think delta is the primary concern for us," Wesley Long, medical director of Diagnostic Microbiology at Houston Methodist, said, per ABC.

  • "There's a lot more evidence that we have that delta is much more contagious, the viral loads are much higher," he added.

Go deeper

Sep 25, 2021 - Health

A second flu

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Whatever living with the virus looks like, Delta-level surges aren't considered to be sustainable for the public or the hospitals that will treat the seriously infected.

Why it matters: A major determinant of how seriously we'll take the coronavirus in the future is how many hospitalizations and deaths it's causing — and whether our health system can handle the load.

Sep 25, 2021 - Health

More virus, more risk, more social distancing

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

When the Delta variant caused coronavirus infections to spike over the summer, Americans began thinking of COVID as a larger risk and resumed social distancing.

Why it matters: Life won't look normal until there's much less virus around — even if the majority of the population is vaccinated — as millions of people will voluntarily try to avoid it.

Go deeper: America's mismatched COVID fears

Sep 26, 2021 - Health

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.