‘Deltacron’, The Delta And Omicron Variant Combination Strain Detected In Cyprus Could Be A Lab Error

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After the discovery of the Delta and Omicron variants of the coronavirus, each labelled a variant of concern and linked to a spike in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world, the virus’ potential to mutate has become a cause of worry. Possibilities of newer strains are always on the table between the ‘IHU’ variant discovered in France recently and the rare case of a coronavirus and influenza infection dubbed ‘Flurona’ earlier. This week, as per reports on Bloomberg, scientists from a Cyprus lab reported a new hybrid mutation which is being called ‘Deltacron’ – a combination of the Delta and Omicron variants. But while it sounds like something ominous that could totally happen as we head into the third year of the pandemic, it’s most likely a lab error and not a real cause of concern.

‘Deltacron’, which as per reports in Cyprus news portals, has “the genetic background of the Delta variant along with some of the mutations of Omicron,” was analysed by scientists who think it doesn’t exist. As per new reports, experts are challenging the claim of a dangerous new hybrid variant. They believe it might be the result of lab contamination.

As per CNBC, Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, a WHO Covid expert shared her explanation of the anomaly saying that “This is likely sequencing artifact (lab contamination of Omicron fragments in a Delta specimen)”

Dr. Tom Peacock, a virologist from the Imperial College in London also shared his views saying “the Cypriot ‘Deltacron’ sequences reported by several large media outlets look to be quite clearly contamination.”

Dr. Leondios Kostrikis, the professor who initially reported the Deltacron finding responded to doubts cast over the strain and maintained that there was no lab error. As newer reports emerged, it remains to be seen if the contested hybrid variant is a real cause of worry. In the meantime, we’ll take Dr. Kuppalli’s advice and refrain from merging “names of infectious diseases and leave it to celebrity couples,”

Amidst fears of a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy for people to get alarmed over new findings considering that most findings are rather bleak. Read our initial report here: ‘Deltacron’: Cyprus Scientist Reports New Strain, Combination Of Delta And Omicron Variant

SEE ALSO: Twitter Reacts To Surge In COVID-19 Cases With A Dose Of ‘Dolo 650’ Memes

Cover image for representation purposes only.





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