Scientists say there has been a new breed of Covid virus that combines the Delta and Omicron mutations.
The discovery was made by a research team led by Leonidos Kostrikis, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus.
The team has identified 25 such cases, and data show that the relative frequency of combined infections is higher in patients hospitalized due to Covidium, LOVEBYLIFE reported.
This mutation was called deltacron due to the identification of omicron-like genetic signatures in delta genomes, Kostrikis explained.
“There are currently Omicron and Delta co-infections and we have found a combination of both,” Kostrikis said in an interview with Sigma TV on Friday.
Kostrikis, head of the university’s biotechnology and molecular virology laboratory, said, “We will see in the future whether this breed is more pathological or more infectious.”
But his personal view is that this strain is displaced by a more infectious omicron mutation.
Researchers this week sent their findings to GISAID, an international database that tracks viruses.
The discovery of the new variant will cause a surge in Covid cases as Omicron continues its rapid spread around the world.
In December, top vaccine chiefs warned that there was a real risk of getting a “dual infection” from both Omicron and Delta.
Dr Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, said: “These two viruses will coexist in the near future.”
Speaking to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, he issued the warning.
“People with a strong background of the Omicron Delta are going to be infected.
“I think Omicron poses a real threat – doubling time in three days is much faster than we’ve seen.
“People can have both viruses, and it’s possible here. It certainly can [much worse].
“This allows two viruses to share genes and exchange genes.”
It is not clear if this will worsen any infection but Dr Burton warns that each mutation may pose potential opportunities for further development.
Although it is rare, it has occurred before in the epidemic.
A 90-year-old woman in Belgium is holding both alpha and beta variants at the same time.
She was not vaccinated, and doctors suspected she was infected by two different individuals before she died.
Kovid variants have previously been referred to by their country of origin, whether it is the Indian variant, the Kent strain or the South African variant.
But some variants have now been renamed by specialists by their Greek names.