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Deltacron COVID Variant Has Been Identified by Scientists

Deltacron COVID Variant Has Been Identified by Scientists

With the rising cases of Omicron worldwide, more and more people are becoming wary of COVID-19 variants. The latest of these variants is the Deltacron COVID variant, reportedly found by a scientist in Cyprus.

How true are the reports of this new variant, and should it be something we need to be wary of? Read on to learn more, as well as tips on how you can protect yourself.

What Is the Deltacron COVID Variant?

Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, has reportedly found a variant that combines both the Delta and Omicron variants. Dubbed Deltacron, the new variant has been a hotly debated topic online.

According to Kostrikis, the variant has genetic signatures similar to Omicron within Delta genomes. In an interview, he stated that “There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two.”

He and his team have also identified the strain in 25 cases, with the frequency of the Deltacron COVID variant higher among hospitalized patients. They subsequently submitted the cases to GISAID; a database that tracks genetics changes in viruses1.

Could It Be a Mistake?

Despite Kostrikis’ reports of a new variant, some experts are skeptical about the new variant2. According to them, it’s possible that the Deltacron COVID variant has more to do with an error in lab processing.

In a Twitter post, WHO COVID expert Dr. Krutika Kuppalli shared that “This is likely sequencing artifact (lab contamination of Omicron fragments in a Delta specimen).” She also made it clear that “Omicron and Delta did not form a super variant.”

Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist from Imperial College London, also made a post on Twitter addressing the claims of Deltacron COVID variant. According to him, what happened was that the samples were likely contaminated. After having checked the sequences, he and some of his colleagues believe that the sequences did not look like a real recombinant.

He added that it had nothing to do with the quality of the laboratory, and that it can happen in any sequencing lab.

Despite these claims from experts, Kostrikis claims that their discovery was not the result of a lab error.

At the moment, the jury is still out on whether or not Deltacron is a new variant. Regardless, it is still important for everyone to practice safety measures to keep themselves safe.

How Do Variants Come About?

It’s fairly normal for viruses to develop new variants3. Even before the Delta and Omicron variants, COVID-19 already had numerous variants before, but the changes were not that significant.

Variants such as Delta and Omicron are variants of concern since they exhibit unique characteristics that warrant our attention. This means that they could infect more people, or in some cases, they could even have different symptoms.

How To Keep Your Family Safe

The most important thing to remember is to take the necessary steps in order to avoid being infected with COVID-19. Here are some steps you can take to keep safe:

  • As much as possible, avoid going outside unless it is necessary.
  • If you do go outside, be sure to wear a face mask4, ideally an N95 mask for extra safety5.
  • Avoid crowded spaces and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from other people.
  • Always wash your hands, especially if you’ve just come from outside.
  • Get fully vaccinated, and if possible, get your booster as soon as it’s your turn.

Learn more about Health News here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1 Covid News: Cyprus Finds Variant That Combine Delta and Omicron – Bloomberg, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-08/cyprus-finds-covid-19-infections-that-combine-delta-and-omicron?sref=ctSjKj2N, Accessed January 11, 2021

2 ‘Deltacron’ variant prompts doubts among experts as possible lab error, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/10/deltacron-variant-prompts-doubts-among-experts-as-possible-lab-error.html, Accessed January 11, 2021

3 COVID Variants: What You Should Know | Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/a-new-strain-of-coronavirus-what-you-should-know, Accessed January 11, 2021

4 What Mask is Best to Protect Against the Omicron Variant? | University of Utah Health, https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2022/01/omicron-masking.php#:~:text=N95%20and%20KN95%20masks%20are,the%20mask%20is%20filtered%20better., Accessed January 11, 2021

5 Are Cloth Masks Enough To Protect Against Omicron? – Cleveland Clinic, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-cloth-masks-enough-against-omicron/, Accessed January 11, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated 2 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Vincent Sales