Confirmation of the new Deltacron variant comes after several reports from scientists across the world, as one UK expert explained that the government must ‘keep an eye’ on the strain
A Delta-Omicron coronavirus hybrid has been detected in the UK as experts warn the government it shouldn’t be ignored.
Dubbed ‘Deltacron’, the new French-based strain combines both lineages. However, its severity is not yet known.
But there is a warning that immunity is waning in the elderly as one scientist added that it is ‘the real thing’.
The World Health Organization said it is ‘tracking and discussing’ the variant following research into the strain.
There is no clear data yet to show whether Deltacron is more infectious than its predecessors.
COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium)
Health chiefs told The Sun a “very small” number of cases have been detected in Britain, but more details are to be reported in a briefing on Friday.
Aris Katzourakis, professor of evolution and genomics at the University of Oxford, said: “It is one to keep an eye on. This one is legit.”
Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, said: “Whilst it doesn’t seem to have taken off as a dominant strain yet, this could be due to a very slow start based upon seeding density – the number of initial cases ,” he said.
“There are multiple scenarios that can play out here in terms of what this means for people that become infected as this combination of viral proteins may behave differently to either parent.
“The French cluster appears to be a validated occurrence where a recombination event has given rise to a virus fit enough to circulate.”
Last month, the UK Health Security Agency announced it was investigating a variant named “Delta x Omicron Recombinant (UK)”.
However, it is not known if this is linked to the French-based Deltacron.
Hospitalization in the UK have shown an ‘uptick’ in the past fortnight, data shows.
The ZOE Covid Symptom Study estimates around 175,000 people are catching Covid each day – a 20 per cent hike in one week.
Study co-founder Professor Tim Spector said: “The ‘official’ UK dashboard rate that continues to provide a misleading picture of the pandemic in the UK and should be scrapped.
“The major increase in new cases across the country and in the elderly is a worry, especially as we now see an uptick in hospitalizations for the first time.
“This increase was predicted when all restrictions were lifted.
“We are likely to continue to see high infection and prevalence rates of 1 in 30 people for the foreseeable future.”
Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UKHSA, said: “The increasing presence of the BA.2 sub-lineage of Omicron and the recent slight increase in infections in those over 55 show that the pandemic is not over and that we can expect to see Covid circulating at high levels.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.