Scientists have announced that a NEW strain of Covid virus combining Delta and Omicron variants has been found.
The discovery was made by a research team led by Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus.
The team identified 25 such cases, and the data showed a higher relative frequency of combined infections among hospitalized patients with Covid, Bloomberg reports.
Kostrikis explains that this variant is called Deltacron because of the identification of omicron-like genetic markers in the delta genome.
“There is currently omicron and delta co-infection and we found this strain is a combination of the two,” Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV on Friday.
“In the future we will see if this strain of bacteria is more pathological or contagious or will it prevail,” said Kostrikis, head of the university’s Molecular Virology and Biotechnology Laboratory. “.
But his personal view is that this strain will also be superseded by the highly contagious omicron variant.
The researchers submitted their findings this week to GISAID, an international database that tracks viruses.
The discovery of the new variant comes as omicrons continue to spread rapidly around the globe, causing a surge in Covid cases.
Back in December, a top vaccine boss warned that there was a very real risk of a “double infection” from both Omicron and Delta.
“For the foreseeable future, these two viruses will co-exist,” said Dr Paul Burton, Moderna’s medical director.
He made the warning when speaking to the House Science and Technology Committee.
“Omicron will infect people with a very strong background in Delta.
“I think Omicron poses a real threat – doubling time at three days is much faster than we’ve seen.
“People can harbor both viruses and it can happen here. It certainly can [much worse].
“It gives the two viruses an opportunity to share genes and swap genes.”
It’s not clear if this will make the infection worse, but it can certainly cause a potential opportunity for each variant to develop further, Dr. Burton cautions.
While it is rare, this has happened before during a pandemic.
A 90-year-old woman in Belgium came across both Alpha and Beta variants at the same time.
She was unvaccinated and doctors suspected she had contracted the dual viruses from two different people, before she died.
Previously Covid variants were called by their country of origin, whether it was the Indian variant, the Kent strain or the South African variant.
But some variants have now been renamed with experts calling them by Greek names.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8178883/deltacron-covid-variant-found-combines-delta-omicron/ New ‘Deltacron’ Covid variant found in Cyprus ‘combines Delta and Omicron virus strains’