Category : News
Author: Rachel Sadler

A new strain of COVID-19 that combines the Delta and Omicron variants has been found in 25 cases in Cyprus, scientists say.

Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, says the strain is called "Deltacron" because of its Omicron-like genetic signatures in the Delta genomes, Bloomberg reports

"There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two," Kostrikis said in an interview with Cyprus' Sigma TV on Friday.

Kostrikis and his team have found 25 Deltacron cases so far. His data shows the likelihood of the combined infection is higher among patients who have been hospitalised with the virus than those who aren't.

The sequences of the 25 Deltacron cases have been sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks and gives access to genomic data of COVID-19.


"We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail," Kostrikis says.

But he adds that his personal view is that this strain will be displaced by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Omicron has become the dominant variant in some countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.

The variant is more infectious but appears to be less severe than Delta, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Despite this, they warn that it shouldn't be categorised as "mild".

"Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalising people and it is killing people," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said

He warned there could be a "tsunami" of cases as global infections soar to records fuelled by both Omicron and Delta.

Note from Nighthawk.NZ:

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