Deltacron was first reported early this year, as it was thought to be a co-infection of the omicron and delta coronavirus variants (meaning that people may have been infected with two variants at once). Now, researchers believe it is a single hybrid variant that combines genes from both delta and omicron.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization decided to start tracking the deltacron, but does not yet call it a variant of concern.
“It has functions of omicron and functions of delta,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of California. He added that the name of the hybrid variant could change in the future.
“It sounds pretty ominous, if you take the worst aspects of delta, which was a more serious disease, and you combine it with the worst aspects of omicron, which is very transmissible, then you have something that sounds pretty scary,” he said. Swartzberg. “There is absolutely no evidence that this new recombinant virus has these qualities at all.”
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF, said both of these variants were likely involved in creating this new one.
“At some point there [are] two circulating variants, so that one person can actually capture two variants at once, and the two variants can actually invade the same cell, and then they can have children, ”he explained. In this case, the virus “child” would be deltacron.
Deltacron has been discovered in the United States, but at present it is not a major concern. So far only one handful of cases have been confirmed. In addition, your body may already be ready to fight this new variant.
“So far, it looks like the outside of the deltacron looks almost like the omicron,” Chin-Hong said.
Both doctors were not surprised or disturbed to see coronavirus mutate again.
“It’s a normal part of viruses, it happens all the time. But we never really know how it unfolds in the realm of life until it comes out into society,” Chin-Hong said.
Infection specialists stressed that the best way to protect yourself from this variant, or any future variants, is to be completely updated about your COVID-19 vaccinations.
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