The newly-discovered deltacron variant — which combines the delta and omicron variants — won’t look too novel to your body.

Driving the news: Dr. Etienne Simon-Loriere, a virologist at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, told The New York Times that the new deltacron variant doesn’t present “a novel concern” to the general population.

What he said: “The surface of the viruses is super-similar to Omicron, so the body will recognize it as well as it recognizes Omicron,” Dr. Simon-Loriere said.

Why this matters: This could mean that anyone who has been infected with omicron will have natural immunity against deltacron. And those with multiple vaccine doses won’t have a problem fighting off the variant, either.

Should you worry about the new ‘deltacron’ variant?
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The bigger picture: Researchers are still looking into the deltacron variant for any potential that it could become a major variant, as I reported for the Deseret News.

What they’re saying: “We have not seen any change in the epidemiology with this recombinant. We haven’t seen any change in severity. But there are many studies that are underway,” WHO COVID-19 technical lead Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said in a press briefing last week.

  • “The fact that there is not that much of it, that even the two cases we saw were different, suggests that it’s probably not going to elevate to a variant of concern level,” William Lee, the chief science officer at Helix, told USA Today.
  • “It sounds pretty ominous if you take the worst aspects of delta, which was a more serious illness, and you combine it with the worst aspects of omicron which is very transmissible then you have something that sounds pretty scary,” Dr. John Swartzberg, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of California Berkeley, told KRON4-TV.
  • “There is absolutely no evidence that this new recombinant virus has those qualities at all.”

What’s next: Dr. Simon-Loriere told The New York Times that he and other researchers are conducting tests on mice and hamsters to discover more clues on the variant since it is still so young.

  • “It’s so fresh that we don’t have any results,” Dr. Simon-Loriere said.
  • The deltacron variant may not exist much longer since scientists could change its name if it continues to spread.
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