'Deltacron' Covid variant merging Omicron and Delta now being monitored by health chiefs
The new Deltacron variant, which is a hybrid of the Omicron and Delta strains, has been recognised by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) after it was identified in a UK patient
A new Covid variant that is a hybrid of the Omicron and Delta strains is officially being monitored by health chiefs.
The new variant - labelled Deltacron - has been identified in a UK patient and was named by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in its weekly "variants in monitoring" list.
The new variant is believed to have evolved in a patient who caught both the Omicron and Delta variants at the same time.
The exact number of Deltacron cases is unknown, although scientists at this stage reportedly believe case numbers are 'low'.
It's also unclear how infectious or severe the newly evolved virus is, although the UK Health Security Agency said it was only listed on the weekly variant breakdown because "we monitor everything as a matter of course".
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that the new variant 'shouldn't pose too much of a threat' because of the UK's high vaccine uptake and strong levels of immunity against the original Delta and Omicron strains.