- The Lambda coroanvirus variant was first identified in Peru last year.
- Experts are keeping a close watch on the variant as its spreads.
- UK officials published a map Friday showing how widely it has spread.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A map shows how far the Lambda variant has spread across the world since it was first identified last year in Peru.
The map, published on Friday by Public Health England, shows the variant has spread to at least 29 countries, according to data collected by the online variant-tracking platform GISAID.
Here is the map in full:
The variant is most common in South America, but has spread to countries elsewhere.
As of July 9, there had been at least 657 instances of Lambda infection in the US, 14 of which were recorded within the past two weeks.
Lambda was declared a variant of interest by the WHO on June 15, in part because of its unusual set of mutations, which could theoretically make it more contagious, or better able to escape vaccines.
Experts continue to monitor the variant closely.
However, at the moment there is "no evidence" to say the variant is more dangerous than other variants, according to Jairo Méndez Rico, an advisor on emerging viral diseases at the Pan-American Health Organization, the Financial Times reported this week.
A preliminary study from NUY Grossman School of Medicine suggests that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will remain effective against the variant.