Initially reported as a laboratory error, a cross between Omicron and Delta, known as Deltacron may be real. Health officials in the UK have identified a patient who was diagnosed with Delta and Omicron at the same time, according to the UK Health Security Agency’s weekly variant surveillance report. According to the Daily Mail, however, it is not clear if it was imported or originated in Britain.
Additionally, UKHSA officials do not know how infectious or severe the newly-evolved virus is or whether it will impact vaccine effectiveness. Officials at UKHSA are “not concerned” by the variant because the number of cases is “low,” the report said. The agency has not indicated how many times it has been detected.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, explains that it “shouldn’t pose too much of a threat” because the UK has huge levels of immunity against the original Delta and Omicron strains. I am not overly concerned at the moment. Theoretically, if both Delta and Omicron are falling, this (variant) should struggle to take off,” he said.
Deltacron variant latest update: 5 points to know
- Deltacron was first reported from Cyprus last month but was later dismissed due to sample contamination.
- The pandemic has featured several “recombinant” variants, but none have caused serious outbreaks.
- When these variants do occur, they are usually less fit than their rivals, making them vulnerable to competition.
- Deltacron “will share antigens with Delta and Omicron, and we have already developed high levels of immunity to them”, Hunter said.
- In theory, it shouldn’t pose too great a threat. However, no one can predict everything with certainty, so at the moment, I’m not overly concerned,” he said.