On March 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) addressed a new variant of
COVID-19, dubbed "deltacron," made from a combination of genes found in the
highly transmissible delta and omicron COVID variants.
In a media briefing
, infectious-disease epidemiologist and WHO's COVID technical lead Maria Van
Kerkhove, PhD, referred to the combination as a "recombinant." It's to be
expected, she said, because of the "intense amount of circulation that we saw
with both omicron and delta," and in some countries, at the same time. She did
not outright call it "deltacron" by name.
The 'deltacron' strain is a combination of the Delta and Omicron variants and
is assumed to have come from a person infected with both.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist at the World Health Organization
(WHO) tweeted, "We have known that recombinant events can occur, in humans
or animals, with multiple circulating variants of #SARSCoV2."
The emergence of such a recombinant should not be a surprise, as Maria
Van Kerkhove, PhD, who’s the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) technical
lead for the COVID-19 response, tweeted:
The Deltacron name first emerged in early January 2022.
As Lisa Kim reported for Forbes back then
, Leondios Kostrikis, professor of biological sciences at the University
of Cyprus, and his team indicated that they had discovered a new version
of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that
combined characteristics of the Delta and Omicron variants. They had
detected this version in samples taken from 25 patients with Covid-19 in
Cyprus, 11 of whom were hospitalized at the time. The research team dubbed
this new version the “Deltacron” variant, as a combination of the words
“Delta” and “Omicron,” perhaps because the “Delta” variant had emerged
earlier than the “Omicron” variant.
The Delta variant (also referred to as B.1.617.2) of COVID-19 was
initially identified in India in December 2020 and was first detected in
the United States in March 2021.
COVID-19 Deltacron Variant Treatment?
Since the Deltacron variant is newly discovered, there's little
evidence to prove whether any treatment is effective against this
According to WHO
, individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of
COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as
wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing,
improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and
The Deltacron variant combines the characteristics of the Delta and
Omicron variants. Experimental antiviral pills
- such as Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N)
Paxlovid and Merck & Co Inc's (MRK.N)
molnupiravir - target parts of the virus that are not changed
in Deltacron. They might work as effectively against the new variant
because these drugs do not target the spike protein – they work by
stopping the virus from replicating.
Theoretically, drugs that target parts of the virus that are not changed
in Deltacron (Delta + Omicron) such as antivirals like Molnupiravir and
Paxlovid might still work. As mentioned above, they will work as
effectively against the new variant because these drugs do not target
the spike protein – they work by stopping the virus from
The FLCCC protocol and Deltacron variant
The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group (FLCCC) has
developed their latest
(Jan 19, 2022 version
) for early treatment for both the Delta and Omicron variants.
Specifically, they recommend hydroxychloroquine (preferred for
Omicron) and ivermectin as first line anti-viral agents:
Ivermectin: 0.4–0.6 mg/kg per dose (take with or after
meals) — one dose daily, take for 5 days or until recovered.
(Find a Doctor). Use upper dose range if: 1) in regions with more
aggressive variants (e.g. Delta); 2) treatment started on or
after day 5 of symptoms or in pulmonary phase; or 3)
multiple comorbidities/risk factors. (Ref)
Hydroxychloroquine (preferred for Omicron): 200mg PO twice
daily; take for 5 days or until recovered. (Find a Doctor)
Most of the other component treatments in the I-MASK+ protocol have
various mode of actions and may not be affected by the changes in the
Dr Pierre Kory, FLCCC Co-Chief Medical Officer tweeted, "As we have
known since the early days of this pandemic, early treatment is the
most effective way to prevent a COVID-19 infection from becoming
severe. The FLCCC's prevention and treatment protocols remain
The most important takeaway is to start treatment 'early'. As soon
as you have symptoms, consult your healthcare provider
and start treatment as early as possible. If treatment is
delayed i.e. after 5 days of symptoms, your chances of severe COVID
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