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‘Deltacron’: This is what we know about the new variant of COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the existence of the variant “deltacron” of covid, when the world is just seeing “the light at the end of the tunnel” of a pandemic that has left, so far, 6 million 4 thousand deaths, according to UN figures.

How risky is this new variant? The presence of deltacron, so named because it is a combination of Delta AY.4 and Omicron BA.1, has not produced “any change in epidemiology or severity,” confirmed Maria Van Kerkhove, leading epidemiologist at The OMS.

“We will see in the future if this variant is more pathological or contagious, or if it will prevail,” Leondios Kostrikis, professor of Biology at the University of Cyprus and director of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, told Europe Press.

In which countries has it been detected?

According to the WHO, so far there is only a record of “deltacron” in France, the Netherlands and Denmark, “but at very low levels.

While the researcher Kostrikis and his team have identified 25 cases of the variant. These have been detected mainly in patients hospitalized for COVID-19.

How was this variant detected?

In December 2021, “deltacron” sequences were generated from virus samples obtained by Kostrikis and his team, as part of an effort to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Cyprus.

“While examining some of its sequences, the researchers noticed an omicron-like genetic signature in the gene for the spike protein, which helps the virus enter cells,” explains Nature in an article.

Kostrikis He clarified that, despite the fact that some media have interpreted that these sequences are the result of a recombinant virus between delta and omicron, he never said that they represented a hybrid of the two.

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