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Maria Van-Kerkhove - Stephen Griffin - Terrifying Covid variant warning as scientists spot new 'Delta-Omicron' hybrid - - France - Netherlands - Denmark - city Paris - city Oxford
Terrifying Covid variant warning as scientists spot new 'Delta-Omicron' hybrid
coronavirus that appears to be a hybrid of the Omicron and Delta variants.The worrying discovery comes after multiple false alarms over the last few months, with many preempting fears that the two hugely disruptive strains would combine to create the dreaded 'Deltacron'.Virologists from L’Institut Pasteur in Paris announced their findings after sequencing genomes in positive Covid samples taken from several regions across France.They now believe that the variant could have been circulating since early January. Commenting on the findings, Aris Katzourakis, a professor of evolution and genomics at the University of Oxford said: "This one is legit."“[It is] one to keep an eye on.”Other similar clusters are also said to have been found in Denmark and the Netherlands, but have not been confirmed yet.Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, said that while the new variant "doesn’t seem to have taken off as a dominant strain yet", this may only be because of a "very slow start" based on the number of initial cases.But he added that "fact it persists in the fact of Omicron" could suggest that its ability to transmit "can’t be too shoddy".No conclusive data has yet shown whether Deltacron can be considered to be more infectious or deadly than its 'root' variants, Delta and Omicron.Covid technical lead Maria van Kerkhove from the World Health Organisation revaled on Thursday that her team had been “tracking and discussing” the new variant.