A new strain of COVID-19 that is a combination of the delta and omicron variants, dubbed “deltacron,” has been discovered in Cyprus, scientists claim.
Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology described his findings in an interview with Sigma TV on Friday.
“There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” he said.
The new discovery was named “deltacron” after omicron-like genetic signatures were found in the delta genomes, Kostrikis said.
Around 25 cases of the new strain have been discovered, he said, but it is too early to say how damaging the “deltacron” strain might be.
Researchers around the world are discovering new strains as the COVID-19 virus mutates and spreads.
A study by French scientists from the IHU Mediterranee Infection published a study in December outlining the discovery of a new “IHU” variant.
The World Health Organization said the IHU variant had not become much of a threat since it was first identified.
Cases of “flurona” have also been detected – when a person is infected with both COVID-19 and the influenza virus at the same time.
Experts say cases of “flurona” are likely to grow as the more contagious omicron variant continues its rapid spread.
The phenomenon is not new, however, with reports of co-infections going back to early 2020. Cases of COVID-19 are reaching record numbers as the omicron variant spreads.
Deaths, however, remain well below the January 2021 peak.
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