The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned over the spread of a new Covid variant - Deltacron.

Deltacron, which combines Delta and Omicron, has been recorded in the UK, France, Denmark and The Netherlands. 

Meanwhile, the most recent data from the WHO shows that global Covid cases are on the decline as we mark two years since the organisation declared a worldwide pandemic.

Here's what we know about the new variant, where it has been recorded and the symptoms we know about so far.

St Helens Star: Lateral flow test. Credit: PALateral flow test. Credit: PA

What is Deltacron?

The new variant contains genes from both variants, as mentioned, which makes it what is known as a recombinant virus. 

Deltacron combines the spike protein of omicron with the “body” of the delta variant, according to Reuters.

Speaking to The Guardian, Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick said:“These recombinants arise when more than one variant infects and replicates in the same person, in the same cells. Deltacron is a product of both the Delta and Omicron variants circulating in the same population.”

There has been speculation around the recombinant virus for some months now but this week, the first solid evidence that the variant exists was shared on Gisaid by the Pasteur Institute in France.

Has Deltacron been recorded in the UK?

St Helens Star: Covid testing site. Credit: PACovid testing site. Credit: PA

We should expect to see confirmation of the first Deltacron cases from person-to-person transmission in the UK this week.

Last month, a person in the UK contracted both the Delta and Omicron variants at the same time, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed.

However, a new confirmation would be the first evidence that the hybrid has been transmitted between people in the UK.

The global community of scientists that share this key virus information Gisaid, has said that the strain has been identified in several regions in France and could have been circulating since the beginning of the year. 

Deltacron has also been recorded in Denmark and the Netherlands.

The WHO also believes that there are at least two cases of the new variant in the US and is expected to publish a report on the subject soon.

Deltacron symptoms

The United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency is currently monitoring Deltacron and there is still very little that we know about it.

We don't yet know how infectious or severe the new variant is and we don't have any official information regarding new symptoms yet. 

According to previous NHS advice, these are some of the symptoms that you should be looking out for:

  • High temperature
  • New continuous cough
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

For more information and further guidance about taking a test and self-isolating, visit the NHS website.