‘Deltacron’: A New COVID-19 Strain That Combines Delta and Omicron Discovered
'Deltacron' is not the official name given by the World Health Organization (WHO).
A new strain of COVID-19, currently being termed as Deltacron—that is a combination of the Delta and Omicron variants —was been detected in Cyprus on Friday, 7 January.
Around 25 cases of Deltacron have been detected in Cyprus so far.
"There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two."Leondios Kostrikis, professor at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, quoted by NDTV
The reports of the 25 Deltacron cases were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks viruses, on 7 January itself.
According to the researchers, the new strain was named Deltacron as the researchers discovered "Omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genomes".
This new strain detected in Cyprus has neither been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) nor by any other international health authority till now, reported NDTV.
Hence, it is important to note that the name "Deltacron" is not the official name given by the WHO, as is likely to change.
Is Deltacron an 'Alarming' COVID-19 Strain?
It is too early to predict whether Deltacron will cause severe infection in COVID-19 patients.
However, Leondios Kostrikis and his team have found out that this combined strain is more prevalent in hospitalised COVID-19 patients compared to the ones being treated at home.
While commenting on whether Deltacron will be a serious threat, Kostrikis said,
"We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail."Leondios Kostrikis, professor at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, quoted by NDTV
He believes that Omicron is most likely to become the dominant variant in the long run and replace this combined variant. But once again, its too early to say anything for sure.
Right now, although Delta is still the dominant variant the world over, the highly infectious Omicron COVID-19 variant is causing a steep surge in COVID cases and is likely to take over as the dominant variant soon, by the looks of it.
As the cases rise, we are also seeing an increase in hospitalisations and deaths in different countries.
While Omicron is the most transmissible variant in the world, for now, it is hard to predict if Deltacron will be able to replace this variant, say the researchers.
(Written with inputs from The NDTV.)
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