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First dismissed as lab error, ‘Deltacron’ cases pop up in the UK


Initially dismissed as a lab error, a hybrid of the Omicron and Delta strains may be real.

British health officials have identified a patient diagnosed with both Delta and Omicron, called ‘Deltacron‘, according to the UK Health Security Agency’s weekly variant surveillance report.

However, it is not clear if it was imported or originated in the UK, according to British media outlets.

The UKHSA officials also don’t know how infectious or severe the newly-evolved virus is or whether it will impact vaccine performance.

A source at the UKHSA insisted officials were “not concerned” by the variant because case numbers are “low”, the report said.

The agency has also not revealed how many times it has been spotted. Deltacron as first reported from Cyprus last month, but was later dismissed and put down to sample contamination.

Several “recombinant” variants have been detected in the pandemic, but they have not led to any serious outbreaks.

Scientists say it is “rare” for these to occur, but when they do the variant is normally “less fit” than its rivals and easily outcompeted.

Previously, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had pointed out that it was possible for an individual to be infected with different variants of SARS-CoV-2. And there have been examples of coinfection, in which people were infected with both influenza and Covid-19 ‚Äúthroughout this pandemic.”


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