Delta, Lambda, Mu; What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Variants in the U.S.

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Editor’s Note: New details about these variants are emerging as researchers continue to learn more. While we aim to update this article as soon as new information becomes available, please check the CDC website for the latest details about variants in the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) first detected the novel coronavirus on December 31, 2019. Mild concern quickly grew into an international crisis as the coronavirus spread across the globe. World leaders, federal agencies, and healthcare organizations implemented numerous strategies to stem the tide of COVID-19. Many lives were lost due to COVID-19, but many have also been saved thanks to vaccinations, public safety initiatives, and the continued efforts of civilians worldwide. Over 200 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed internationally as of September 20, 2021. Over 4.6 million casualties have been reported while 5.7 million vaccine doses have been administered. 

Combating COVID-19 has proved to be extremely challenging for healthcare providers. The emergence of new COVID-19 variants has only made the struggle to end the pandemic all the more taxing. The Delta, Lambda, and Mu strains of the coronavirus each have unique properties that pose serious concerns. The Delta variant, for instance, is twice as contagious as the original coronavirus strain and can potentially cause much more severe symptoms and illnesses in unvaccinated individuals. As such, the CDC has labeled Delta a "variant of concern".

There's a lot unpack regarding COVID-19 variants; "where do variants come from?" and "which variant is the most dangerous?" are questions that can't easily be answered. Today, we'll share what we've learned about the COVID-19 variants as well as several resources to protect yourself and your loved ones.