Tech & Science dictionary


[ del-tuh-kron ]

What does Deltacron mean?

Deltacron is the name given to a supposed combination of the Delta and Omicron variants of the COVID-19 virus; however, many scientific experts have concluded that it does not exist. A number of virologists have said that the appearance of a combined strain was simply the result of contamination of the samples in which it was thought to have been detected.

The name Deltacron was first used by the Cyprus virology laboratory that announced the findings. The lab has stood by its analysis.

Many of the experts who’ve stated doubts about the likelihood that it is a combined variant have noted that such combinations are possible, but that the samples in question have classic signs of contamination.

It is also possible to be infected by multiple strains of COVID-19 at the same time, but this is rare, and this is not what Deltacron refers to.

Many public health officials have stated objections to the use of names like Deltacron and flurona due to their view that they are sensationalistic and often imprecise. Relatedly, the slang term scariant (a combination of scary and variant) is sometimes used to refer to nonexistent variants or to entities whose names suggest that they are a new variant when they are not (for example, in cases in which there is a co-infection—two simultaneous but separate infections).

Examples of Deltacron

Several virologists have dismissed reports of a new COVID variant dubbed "Deltacron" on the basis that it is likely to be a data error.
Ed Browne, Newsweek, January 10, 2022

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