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New ‘Deltacron’ strain of COVID-19 identified in Cyprus

Photo for representation.

A new strain of Covid-19 that combines the genetic characteristics of the Delta variant with mutations of Omicron has been found in Cyprus, according to Leondios Kostrikis, professor at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology.

The discovery was named "Deltacron" due to the identification of Omicron-like genetic signatures within the Delta genomes, he told Sigma TV.

Dr. Kostrikis said that the frequency of the mutation among hospitalized patients was higher and could point to a correlation between the new variant and hospitalizations.

Kostrikis and his team have identified 25 such detacron cases and the genome sequences were sent to GISAID, the international database that tracks changes in the virus, on Jan. 7.

"We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail" over delta and omicron, he said.

The new variant was not something to worry about at the moment, said Cyprus's Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandelas on Saturday.

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