Just when the whole world was going back to normal lifting all the Covid19 restrictions, the new variant “Deltacron” has made a new entry. However, the good news is, the researchers are not quite worried about this variant as it seems to be a rather lighter version of Covid19. Nevertheless, the variant tends to change a lot and become more reactive with time, the medical professionals say they have to keep a track of how this variant changes throughout its journey.
US civilians are worried about this new variant hitting them. There have been questions regarding the combination of omicron and delta coronavirus that has been newly discovered in the USA and some parts of Europe.
For now, the experts say there are very less chances of the virus to spread and people are safe from this new variant. People should not be alarmed yet, no matter how scary the name of the new variant sounds.
According to Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of the World Health Organization on Covid19 said, “As we look more, as we do more sequencing it is possible that this recombinant virus will be detected in other countries, but is circulating as well understand at very low levels. The brief happened on Wednesday. She further gave relief to people by stating up till now not many cases of this new variant have been reported.
With very few cases have been reported, it would not be wrong to say that this variant data is limited. For instance, the researchers are yet to find out how severe the new virus is and how effective the vaccines are on this virus.
However, according to the experts, it is imperative to keep a track of all the developments and document the changes been seen in the coronavirus new variant. All the stages of the new variant should be reported and scrutinized.
What is Deltacron?
For people to know, Deltacron may sound like an informal name but it suggests this virus is the combination of the old variants of COVID19, which means it is the hybrid of delta and omicron variants. The combination of these two viruses infects the same, which is later then imitated.
According to the science officer William Lee at the genetic sequencing company Helix, “If you have two virus genomes, what happens here is that you get part of one and part of other pasted next to each other, and so the outcome is where one side of the genome looks like one kind of virus and the other side looks like the other.”
Lee along with his fellow peers was the first one to publish the research about the new variant in the US, however, nothing in this study has been proved yet.
According to the study, they have found two cases of the recombination of delta-omicron events. Amazingly, each case of deltacron is in the USA, they are actually linked with the individual omicron sub- lineages combined with delta. This is where they came up with the name “deltacron” for this new variant and it can be later problematic. However, there is no new research about it yet so nothing can be 100% confirmed, according to Lee.
He further states, “it is a little misleading in the sense that there is actually many different delta-omicrons”. Moreover, “even within our publication, there is at least two different ones.”
Until now WHO has not taken serious considerations regarding this new variant which is one of the reasons why it is given such an informal Greek name which leads to the circulation of the unofficial name of the virus. One of the preprint studies of France has the name is as “Deltamicron”. Looks like there will be various versions of the name until WHO decides to finalize the name.
Whereabouts of “Deltacron”
A few states of Europe along with USA have been affected by the new variant of COVID19. According to the international database of genomic sequences, it has been found in Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Netherlands.
On the other hand, according to Lee, Massachusetts is the only state with the confirmed two cases of the new variant of the virus.
The whole fiasco of the Deltacron would later be proved as a whole laboratory mistake if the whole development ends up like a déjà vu.
The virus was discovered in early January as a virologist discussed it and uploaded different sequences of it on GISAID. However, since nothing was proved then all the experts raised their concerns regarding sequences and suggested they did not come across any such variant. Instead, they noticed the laboratory contamination.
Should you be worried about it?
The study says, there is still not anything to be worried about. According to the study, there has been only two cases of the new variant of the virus as opposed to the combination of them. It further “suggests that this kind of recombination probably did not provide a fitness advantage that might be of concern”, says Lee.
He further stated, if there are not any apparent benefits of this variant over other variants, then it is not likely to have a grave impact on the civilians like the previous one had, indicating towards delta and omicron.
According to the reports of the US study, “Delta-Omicron recombinant viruses were rare, and there is currently no evidence that the two Delta-Omicron recombinant viruses identified are more transmissible between hosts compared to the circulating Omicron lineages.”
Chief Scientist of WHO Soumya Swaminathan also tweeted, “We have known that recombinant events can occur, in humans or animals, with multiple circulating variants of [COVID-19]. Need to wait for experiments to determine the properties of this virus.”
She further added the development in the virus indicates the “importance of sequencing, analytics and rapid data sharing as we deal with this pandemic.”
Lee supports this stance and stance and says the infection periods are pretty low in the US which can lead to the fall of the sequence cases.
Looks like the civilians do not need to worry about Deltacron much!