No Change in Severity Level – The World Health Organization (WHO) stated on Wednesday (9/3/2022) that a new variant of Covid-19, namely the combination of the Delta and Omicron variants, Deltracron has been circulating in Europe.

WHO noted that its spread had been detected in France, the Netherlands and Denmark. In addition, new cases have also been found in the United States based on a recent study published in MedRxiv.

The study found that there were two infections originating from Deltacron from observations of 29,719 coronavirus samples collected between November 22, 20221 and February 13, 2022, reports Times of India.

“During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, two or more variants have circulated over the same time period and in the same geographic area. This creates an opportunity for recombination between these two variants,” explains study lead author Philippe Colson of IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille, France.

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They found that people who tested positive for Covid-19 were infected with SARS-CoV-2, a combined version of the Omicron variant spike protein with the Delta variant ‘body’.

Image illustration (pixabay)
Illustration of deltacron (pixabay)

What is viral recombination?

Viral recombination is when at least two viral genomes infect one host cell and exchange genetic material during replication to produce viral offspring that have multiple genes from both parental strains.

It is said to be common in coronaviruses because of the way their RNA genome is duplicated.

Even so, experts say it’s too early to worry about Deltacron.

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The head of WHO’s disease and zoonosis unit, Maria Van Kerkhove, explained how this had been predicted, especially with the intense Omicron and Delta spread.

According to him, the number of cases in the Deltacron area that have been detected is also very low.

“There hasn’t been a change in the epidemiology. We haven’t seen a change in the severity. But there’s a lot of research being done,” Van Kerkhove said.