Cyprus reportedly discovers a Covid variant that combines omicron and delta

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Staff at CSL are working in the lab on November 08, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia, where they will begin manufacturing AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine.
Darrian Traynor | Getty Images

A researcher in Cyprus has discovered a strain of the coronavirus that combines the delta and omicron variant, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday.

Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, called the strain “deltacron,” because of its omicron-like genetic signatures within the delta genomes, Bloomberg said.

So far, Kostrikis and his team have found 25 cases of the virus, according to the report. It’s still too early to tell whether there are more cases of the strain or what impacts it could have.

“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail” against the two dominant strains, delta and omicron, Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday. He believes omicron will also overtake deltacron, he added.

The researchers sent their findings this week to GISAID, an international database that tracks viruses, according to Bloomberg.

The deltacron variant comes as omicron continues its rapid spread across the globe, causing a surge in Covid-19 cases. The U.S. is reporting a seven-day average of more than 600,000 new cases daily, according to a CNBC analysis Friday of data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s a 72% increase from the previous week and a pandemic record.

Read the full Bloomberg News story here.

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