A scientist in Cyprus has discovered a new variant of COVID-19 that combines the Delta and Omicron strains.
As reported by Bloomberg, the new variant named ‘Deltacron’ was identified by a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, Leondios Kostrikis.
Speaking in a media interview Kostrikis said, “There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” adding that the new strain was named ‘Deltacron’ due to the identification of Omicron-like genetic signatures within its Delta genomes.
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Bloomberg reported that Kostrikis and his team have identified 25 such cases, noting that the statistical analysis shows that the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalised due to COVID-19 as compared to non-hospitalised patients. The sequences of the 25 Deltacron cases were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on January 7.
“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail” over Delta and Omicron, Kostrikis said.
He, however, added that he thinks the ‘Deltacron’ strain will also be displaced by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
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