The latest novel coronavirus variant brings together parts of two previous variants. But is it a variant to be concerned about yet? And how will you know if it becomes more dangerous?

What’s happening: The World Health Organization confirmed a new COVID-19 variant that appears to be a combination of the delta variant and the omicron variant, as I reported for the Deseret News.

  • A study published Tuesday from the IHU Méditerranée Infection — in conjunction with the company Helix, which often works with the CDC — shared details of the new variant, which has been discovered in cases in France, Denmark and the Netherlands.
  • There have been 17 cases so far, which has stopped the variant from becoming one of concern among the general populace, per Reuters.
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What to watch for: The IHU study noted that there’s no major concern over the new combination COVID-19 variant yet.

  • However, scientists will be watching to see if more deltacron COVID-19 cases emerge. This will help researchers understand the severity of the new coronavirus variant.
  • “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 Wednesday.

The bottom line: “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.