Deltacron – variant or scarient?

Wasn’t it enough for covid-19 to change its morphology every 3 months! Guess what the two covid-19 variants of concern have joined hands together., now the delta and omicron variants of covid-19 have combined together and the new resulting variation is called “deltacron”. Is it a variant or scarient?

 

Deltacron

 

While everyone is still for the omicron variant to go, 25 cases of covid-19 from Cyprus during this omicron wave are claimed to be due to “deltacron” – a result of teaming up of omicron and delta variants of covid-19.

 

What is Deltacron?

 

Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus have said on Friday that they encountered around 25 cases of covid-19 which had genetic similarities of both omicron and delta variants. These genetic results have been sent to headquarters in GISAID, Munich for further studies. They also reported that patients infected by combined strain had a higher rate of hospital admission.

But there are controversies and we still need to find whether deltacron is variant or scarient. Other than Cyprus no other country has encountered such a variant. In fact, virologist Tom Peacock from Imperial College London suggested that “deltacron” is not a new variant rather just a contaminated strain of either omicron or delta.

 

What is the contamination of a strain?

 

Contamination is a common occurrence in lab studies. It’s a kind of lab mistake. When the new structure of micro-organism is studied in labs, it goes through various steps and different kinds of chemicals are used during the genomic study of a new strain which can result in contamination of new strain, giving a false impression of the emergence of the new strain.

 

The majority of labs don’t report non-significant contamination. Virologists are also saying that as this new combined strain doesn’t fall into a phenotypical tree of the genomic structure of SARS CoV-2, it is possibly just contamination while lab studies. Still, these 25 cases of covid-19 from Cyprus are claimed to be infected by the new variant “deltacron”, and results have been sent to the international database for further evaluation.

 

Is deltacron dangerous?

 

Should we scare? Although “deltacron” still has to take recognition from WHO, fear is what if this is actually a new variant? Here are some trending hypothesizes-

 

  • Deltacron may overtake omicron and may actually just completely wash off the omicron variant.
  • Deltacron may prevail over delta variant.
  • It’s not a variant just a lab mistake.
  • Deltacron will be outdistanced by the superfast omicron variant.
  • Can become a dangerous variant as a combination of delta and omicron it will possess a fast speed of infection from omicron and higher severity of infection from delta variant.

We don’t know whether anyone or a few of the above-postulated hypotheses will turn true, we don’t know whether deltacron is variant or scarient, in fact, no one knows this early. To see whether this deltacron will be dangerous or non-dangerous or will just be declared as a lab error, we need to wait and watch.

 

What we do know is that the continuous practice of covid appropriate behavior (CAB) vaccination and keeping our hopes high are the only things we have to fight against the current pandemic. Do not get panic about new variants, just follow covid guidelines and have faith that we will win over this pandemic too.

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