You might have seen the name ‘Deltacron’ float around on social media lately, and while some have joked that it sounds like the title of the next Marvel movie or the Transformers villain, others are panicking internally. But is there a cause for concern?
The reaction to the Deltacron news has been met with light humour, but others have called it an insensitive act. And this is the question everyone is asking: what exactly is Deltacron and is it real? Scientists in Cyprus claimed to have discovered ‘the new strain’ and called it Deltacron, as it shares the combination of the strains Delta and Omicron.
Leondios Kostrikis, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus and Head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, first brought this to the world’s attention. In an interview with Sigma TV network of Cyprus, he said: “There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two.”
He also told a local news outlet in Cyprus that his team had found 25 cases of the mutation, including 11 cases among patients hospitalised with COVID-19.
Even though Kostrikis insists that his findings are accurate as per The Independent, many have claimed that Deltacron isn’t real.
According to CNBC, some experts said that Deltacron “is likely due to sequencing artefact,” a variation introduced by a nonbiological process (a case of laboratory contamination).
On the other hand, infectious diseases epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim said that South Africans should not be too concerned, EWN reports.
Here’s how Twitter has reacted to the news:
— New Year Same Thot (@thotpocket8) January 9, 2022
— Sidar Aydın, PhD (@sidaraydin) January 10, 2022
— Happy Camper (@HappyBigGrin) January 10, 2022
— Eshaal Rajpoot (@TOHEEDA84257717) January 10, 2022
— Komal Ansari | free 🇵🇸 (@DrKomal26) January 11, 2022