NICOSIA – Just when you thought the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t get worse, a combined strain of the deadly Delta and highly-contagious Omicron Variant has been discovered on Cyprus, which has the highest number of Coronavirus cases per capita in the world.
That was reported by Leondios Kostrikis, Professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, according to various media reports.
“There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV. It was named Deltacron because of the finding of Ommicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, he said.
He said he and his team identified 25 cases so far and that statistical analysis shows that the relative frequency of the combined infection is higher among patients hospitalized by COVID.
The sequences of the 25 deltacron cases were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on Jan. 7, said the financial news agency Bloomberg.
“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail” over Delta and Omicron, he said, adding that he believes it would be displaced by Omicron.