First case of “Deltakron” variant confirmed in Germany – how dangerous is the new coronavirus mutation?

In the middle of the discussion about the widespread lifting of coronavirus restrictions, the news falls that the first case of “Deltakron” in Germany has been confirmed. This raises many questions. Is the new variant already spreading? Is it dangerous?

Does the new coronavirus variant threaten to ease restrictions?

The Robert Koch Institute (IRK) has confirmed to the newspaper Der Spiegel that there is at least one case of “Deltakron” in Germany. This is a recombination of the Delta variant and the currently dominant Omicron variant.

Already at the beginning of the year, a report from Cyprus about a mixed variant between Delta and Omikron caused a stir. However, it turned out that it was most likely a mistake caused by contamination in the lab. Now, however, the variant seems to be spreading. What does this mean for us?

A new variant more contagious and dangerous?

According to scientists, recombination is a mixed type of two virus variants. It is a relatively normal phenomenon that occurs when different variants of a virus spread at the same time. Simply put, representatives of both strains of the virus infect a person at the same time. Genetic information from one type can cross over into the other and thus generate a new variant.

This is what happened with Omicron and the previously dominant Delta variant. At the end of February, 32 cases of coronavirus had been registered in the UK in which a mixture of Delta and Omikron variants had been detected. The variant known as “Deltakron” was placed on a watch list in early February after the first cases emerged.

The new variant could fuel a pandemic again

But how dangerous is the new variant? In general, the combination of Delta and Omicron could be quite dangerous. Namely, when the higher rate of Omicron-related illness meets the severe course of the Delta variant. Fortunately, there is no indication of this at the moment: after all, the new variant would have already spread much more if it were really as contagious as Omicron. So far, however, this has not happened.

Nevertheless, virologists continue to warn that mutations could again fuel a pandemic. Christian Drosten, for example, explained earlier this year that it is a mistake to assume that subsequent mutations automatically lead to a milder course of the disease. In contrast, the risk of creating new mutations increases with more cases. This is all the more dangerous because most of the current restrictions on coronavirus will expire on March 20. In Bavaria, the government on Tuesday, March 15, was already deliberating on how to deal with the persistently high number of cases.


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