Friday, December 9, 2022

WHO confirms Deltacron-variant but its transmissibility remained unknown

NewsWHO confirms Deltacron-variant but its transmissibility remained unknown

Last Wednesday (9 March), the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the alleged hybrid Covid-19 mutation dubbed “Deltacron” exists and it is currently spreading rapidly in parts of Europe.

This new hybrid strain was first discovered by researchers in Cyprus but experts have said that it most likely is a result of lab contamination and not a new worrying variant.

In a press conference, WHO said the dubbed “Deltacron” has been found spreading in France, Netherlands and Denmark and it believes it has identified 2 cases in the United States. It also plans to publish a report of its findings soon.

This worrying announcement came just days before the second anniversary of the day on which the WHO declared a global pandemic. Following this discovery, the organisation issued grave warnings that the new variant has the potential to become a major problem in both Europe and US.

While the exact number of cases that involved this new hybrid strain hasn’t been reported, the Deltacron has popped up in different locations around the world. A new preprint study published this week announced there have been 3 case clusters of what the authors are calling “Deltamicron” in southern France.

According to Health Magazine, the researchers in the United States found 2 infections that involved different versions of Deltacron. The study collected 29,712 samples across United States from 22 November 2021 to 13 February 2022.

At this junction, there is a lot that we do not know about Deltacron. Thomas Russo, MD, professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York said that there have been as many cases of Deltacron compared to the Delta and Omicron surges, but there are probably more Deltacron infections than scientists are currently aware of.

“There have been very few of these identified since early January, so it doesn’t have a selective advantage,” Dr Russo said.

In other words, if it was going to become more transmissible than Omicron, which is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in many parts of the world, it probably would have taken off by now.

It also appeared that the current vaccines are effective against the Deltacron variant, judging from how it did not become the dominant strain in many parts of the world.

Meanwhile, WHO has assured that several studies are underway to understand its severity and transmissibility.

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