Scientists said the reports of a new variant combining the Delta and Omicron COVID-19 strains coined “Deltacron” is “not real.”
“Deltacron is not real and is likely due to sequencing artifact (lab contamination of Omicron sequence fragments in a Delta specimen),” World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID expert Dr. Krutika Kuppalli posted on Twitter.
“Let’s not merge of names of infectious diseases and leave it to celebrity couples,” Kuppalli added.
Reports emerged this weekend that a new COVID-19 strain had been discovered in a lab in Cyprus.
Leondios Kostrikis, professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus said that his team had discovered 25 COVID-19 samples, which appeared to combine the Delta and Omicron strains.
“There are currently omicron and delta co-infections, and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” Kostrikis said.
However, scientists, including Imperial College virologist Dr. Tom Peacock, have quashed the claims.
Peacock said the anomaly appears to be “quite clearly contamination” as it does not meet the criteria for a new variant.
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