Scientist in France have detected a strain of the coronavirus that appears to have combined mutations from the Omicron and Delta variants. They believe that the mutation may have been circulating since early January in several regions of the country

The virologists from L'Institut Pasteur in Paris had sequenced a sample of the "Deltacron" variant before reaching the conclusion. "This one is legit. [It is] one to keep an eye on," said Aris Katzourakis, a professor of evolution and genomics at the University of Oxford.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the new coronavirus combination between Delta and Omicron has been detected in countries including Denmark, France, and the Netherlands.

"The French cluster appears to be a validated occurrence where a recombination event has given rise to a virus fit enough to circulate," said Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds.

"Whilst it doesn't seem to have taken off as a dominant strain yet, this could be due to a very slow start based upon seeding density [the number of initial cases]," he added.

Three cases of the variant have also been found in the United States, according to genetics research company Helix. The experts say that it is too soon to say anything about the transmissibility of the virus.

As many as 12 Deltacron cases have been reported in Europe since the beginning of the year. All these cases had an Omicron spike and a Delta body, per a report by Reuters.

"During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, two or more variants have co-circulated during same periods of time and in same geographical areas... This created opportunities for recombination between these two variants, said Philippe Colson of IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille, France.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's Covid-19 technical lead, has said that studies are underway to know more about this latest variant. And that her team is "tracking and discussing," the strain.

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