Experts on Monday said that Deltacron is most likely a result of a test contamination and not a worrying new variant. While it is possible for coronaviruses to genetically combine, it is rare, and scientists analysing the discovery of Deltacron say it is unlikely.
Cypriot media described it as having “the genetic background of the Delta variant along with some of the mutations of Omicron”.
The Deltacron sequences look to be quite clearly contamination, a virologist at Imperial College London tweeted.
The “mutations” are on a part of the genome that is vulnerable to error in certain sequencing procedures, Head of the Covid-19 Genomics Initiative at Britain’s Wellcome Sanger Institute said. This is almost certainly not a biological recombinant of the Delta and Omicron lineages, he added.
Last week, unverified reports emerged of a “flurona” or “flurone” virus – a combination of a flu and the coronavirus – which the World Health Organisation dismissed on Monday. While people can suffer from influenza and coronavirus at the same time, the two viruses cannot combine.