Bloomberg.com reports Leondios Kostrikis, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus and head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Molecular Virology, identified the new "deltacron," which gets its name from a combination of the two coronavirus strains.
“There are currently omicron and delta co-infections and we found this strain that is a combination of these two,” Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV Friday (January 7) via Bloomberg.
Kostrikis confirmed the new strain contained omicron-like genetic signatures paired with delta genomes and said 25 cases of deltacron were identified, with a higher chance of hospitalization than non-hospitalization, according to data sent to GISAID, the international database tracking changes to the coronavirus, on Friday.
“We will see in the future if this strain is more pathological or more contagious or if it will prevail,” Kostrikis said, comparing the deltacron to the delta and omicron variants.
The professor added that he believes the strain will likely be replaced by yet another highly contagious omicron variant in the future.
News of the new strain comes as omicron continues to cause a surge in COVID-19 cases worldwide, which includes a seven-day average of more than 600,000 new daily cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data obtained by CNBC on Friday.