UK health officials confirmed this weekend that they are monitoring a new Covid strain which is a combination of Delta and Omicron, dubbed ‘Deltacron’ by various media.
UK Covid scientists reportedly believe the new variant evolved in a Brit who caught both Omicron and Delta at the same time.
While initially a combined mutation of the two variants was dismissed, UK health officials are now looking at the newly discovered strain as a legitimate threat.
The update from the UK Health Security Agency included “Delta x Omicron Recombinant” as a signal that’s currently being monitored and investigated. There are confirmed cases in the UK, although no further details were provided.
The recombinant, which is also known as Deltacron, has so far not been designated as a variant of concern.
A recombinant is a mutation from different strains coming together in a new variant.
Concerns about a Deltacron variant first surfaced last month when a medical professional in Cyprus claimed to have discovered “a Delta variant with Omicron-like features.”
However, his findings were dismissed as an error and the UK variant is unrelated to what happened in Cyprus.
The Omicron variant was first detected in November 2021, reported in South Africa, and rapidly spread around the world, displacing the Delta variant in just a matter of weeks in dozens of countries.
Omicron has since been shown to cause generally milder illness when compared to the Delta variant.
In the UK, confirmed UK virus cases dropped 29 per cent in the past week and are down 76 per cent since their peak at the beginning of the year.