According to a group of scientists in Europe, a new strain of COVID-19 consisting of both the delta and omicron variants may be developing.
Leondios Kostrikis, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, says that the strain which has been named “deltacron” for now, contains both of the variants. He says this new “deltacron” has the delta variant’s genetics while also containing some of the Omicron variant’s mutations. Kostrikis said that 25 samples of this new “deltacron” have been found in Cyprus and 11 of the cases are from patients currently hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms.
The samples from the have already been submitted to GISAID, which is an international database whose purpose is to track different viruses and variant strains of COVID-19 and is a database that the WHO uses.
Neither GISAID or WHO has identified the “deltacron” strain as a variant.
According to Dr. Jim Conway, the medical director for the immunization program at UW Health in Wisconsin, has said, “Having two variants at the same time isn’t impossible” he continued, “Because it is possible to have two viruses simultaneously – like ‘flurona,’ a co-infection of influenza and COVID-19.”
Dr. Tom Peacock, virologist at Imperial Department of Infectious Disease in Britain, added that there is a possibility that the discovery is a result of contamination in the lab where the virus samples were sequenced.
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