A new COVID variant combines delta and omicron. Or maybe it doesn’t. Experts debate ‘deltacron.’ – NJ.com

A new strain? Or a lab error?

A researcher in Cyprus claims to have discovered a new coronavirus variant — one that appears to be a combination of the delta and omicron strains, Bloomberg reported over the weekend.

But experts are crying foul.

Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University of Cyprus, claims he and his colleagues have found 25 cases involving the new variant, according to Bloomberg.

However, health experts from around the world have questioned the findings, saying the so-called “deltacron” variant was likely the result of a lab processing error.

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, a COVID-19 expert for the World Health Organization, issued a blunt statement Sunday on Twitter.

“Okay people let’s make this a teachable moment,” Kuppalli wrote, “there is no such thing as #Deltacron (Just like there is no such thing as #Flurona).”

She added it was likely the result of “lab contamination of Omicron fragments in a Delta specimen.”

According to Bloomberg, the sequences were sent to GISAID (Global Science Initiative and Primary Source), which promotes the rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses and the coronavirus causing COVID-19.

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Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com.

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A new COVID variant combines delta and omicron. Or maybe it doesn’t. Experts debate ‘deltacron.’ – NJ.com

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