Houston Methodist Hospital confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 lambda variant at one of its eight facilities Monday, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed to the New York Daily News.
The discovery comes as the health care network struggles to battle the delta variant, which reportedly accounts for 85% of the 200 cases they're currently treating. Houston Methodist has just over 100 COVID-19 cases last week. The vast majority of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, the hospital said. Medical facilities are nearing capacity.
The lambda variant was first documented in Peru late last year, according to the World Health Organization, where it remains the most dominant mutation of COVID-19. It reportedly shares characteristics with the alpha, beta and gamma variants. Houston Methodist director of Diagnostic Microbiology Dr. Wesley Long told ABC News that despite the newly discovered presence of the lambda variant, delta, which appears to be more contagious and packs a higher viral load, remains a greater concern.
The delta variant was first detected in India around the same time lambda was observed in Peru.
Slightly more than half of Texans 12 and older are vaccinated. Houston Methodist president Dr. Marc Boom stressed that it's important to get that number up to keep infections down.