Deltacron arrives in Australia | daily mail online

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What is the “Deltacron” strain?

Deltacron is a “recombinant” hybrid of the Delta and Omicron strains of Covid-19.

It was first detected in France in February, but the number of cases has remained low worldwide.

“If Deltacron ended up as something with the virulence of Delta and the transmissibility of Omicron, then that would be something really concerning,” said Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University.

Despite widespread fears about the “Deltacron” hybrid variant, most Covid-19 experiences, while unpleasant, will confine the victim to the house for about a week, but not worse.

Microbiologist Professor Peter Collignon says rising Covid infections would actually mean winter isn't as scary as some have predicted this year

Microbiologist Professor Peter Collignon says rising Covid infections would actually mean winter isn’t as scary as some have predicted this year

Many recognize Delta as the Covid strain potentially producing the most severe disease. On the positive side, studies have shown that vaccination reduces the risk of infection and severe Delta disease.

Omicron, which appeared in late 2021, is more contagious than Delta but generally produces less severe disease.

“It could mean more severe disease, especially in people who are not fully vaccinated, but at the moment we don’t see that.”

The reality of Deltacron is also that it is an umbrella term for local recombinant strains – which occur in different parts of the world where Delta and Omicron have been present at the same time.

This means that Deltacron may not be exactly the same everywhere.

What is happening with Covid globally in Australia?

The Deltacron hybrid strain of Covid-19 is the latest variant to worry Australians with some nightmare scenarios possible

The Deltacron hybrid strain of Covid-19 is the latest variant to worry Australians with some nightmare scenarios possible

Although there was an increase in the number of Covid cases, Prof Bennett said there was little evidence of a resurgence in delta strain cases.

In fact, they are more like Omicron, especially the BA.2 strain.

“We find that Omicron’s high transmissibility still dominates, which wards off anything that isn’t as infectious.”

The way viruses work is that one strain at a time tends to dominate, by definition, that is, the most infectious version.

If this strain is less virulent, hospitals will not see as much traffic in intensive care units.

Australians can go about their daily lives but should still take reasonable precautions against the spread of Covid, experts say – including getting vaccinated.

Prof Peter Collignon, professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, said recombinant variants could be more lethal, “but the track record shows that doesn’t happen so far, so let’s go with the track record.” .

Do new restrictions seem necessary as more people fall ill?

Ironically, the growth of Covid infections may control the spread as many people are ‘too sick to be outside’, Prof Bennett said.

“If you have more people with symptoms, even if they are not serious enough to send you to hospital, you are less likely to mix.

“When people have symptoms that they can’t ignore, they won’t take it to work, to restaurants or to friends. This slows down the virus.

Why do people keep saying the virus will get worse in winter?

Winter is a concern, Professor Collignon says, because viruses spread more easily when we are indoors nearby.

For this reason, Professor Collignon advises anyone who has not been vaccinated to get vaccinated “especially if you are older”.

Elderly or immunocompromised people should also receive a booster if they haven’t had one before winter.

Professor Collignon advises people to entertain “outside on the veranda at lunchtime instead of dining indoors in the evening”.

“We are lucky in Australia, we can do it.”

People with Covid will often be too sick to go outside – which should help slow the spread of the virus

People with Covid will often be too sick to go outside – which should help slow the spread of the virus

Australians can lead their normal lives but still need to take reasonable precautions against the spread of Covid, experts say

Australians can lead their normal lives but still need to take reasonable precautions against the spread of Covid, experts say

Will Deltacron – or any other variant – create additional danger this winter?

Professor Bennett said Omicron’s continued dominance, most likely via the BA.2 strain, means worst-case scenarios for Deltacron seem unlikely.

“We wouldn’t expect Deltacron to be like the Delta outbreaks last year,” she said.

This is partly because the high use of vaccines has “tamed the virus” in terms of transmission and the number of people hospitalized.

Professor Collignon says the current spread of Covid-19 could actually mean that winter in Australia is not as bad as initially feared.

Indeed, the high number of people falling ill and recovering increases the proportion of the population enjoying good quality immunity.

“I’ve been quite pessimistic about winter, but the other way of looking at it is that winter might not be as bad because so many people have been infected, so they will be immune for the next six to 12 months.”

“Studies from Qatar show that people who received two doses of a vaccine and a Covid infection have better protection than those who received two doses and a booster.”

But isn’t it possible to catch Covid twice?

Yes, but as a proportion of cases reinfection is extremely low and seems to occur mainly in younger people.

“A recent Danish study showed that reinfections were rare, accounting for only one in 10,000 reported infections,” Professor Bennett said.

“There may be more reinfections, but they may be so mild or have no symptoms that they go unreported.

“So that suggests the risk is low, especially in vaccinated people.”

How do I know if I have Deltacron?

If you get a positive Covid test result, you won’t know what strain it is – no public test currently tells us.

But if your symptoms are severe enough to send you to bed, you probably won’t care what strain you have.

The symptoms that tend to confirm that you have the Covid and not the flu or a “supercold” are the loss of taste and smell.

Other than that, Covid tends to include fever, fatigue, headache, dizziness, brain fog, sore throat and runny nose. Earache also appears as a symptom of Omicron.

How to recover from Covid?

It depends on how sick you get. In most cases, the infectious period is over in seven days.

The infectious or acute period can last up to two weeks and is probably when your symptoms are most severe: fever, headache, body aches, difficulty breathing and fatigue.

Some cases include diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.

If the breathing difficulties become severe and you experience severe confusion or chest pain, call 000.

If your symptoms can be managed at home, it is advisable to rest and stay hydrated by drinking water, herbal tea or juice and taking paracetamol to lower the fever.

But in many cases, recovery – in terms of being able to return to normal life – takes at least two weeks and up to a month.

Post-COVID-19 symptoms, such as a persistent cough, mild fever, fatigue, and decreased sense of smell or taste, can last for weeks or months after recovery from the acute phase.

When symptoms last for months, they’re commonly referred to as “Long Covid,” which has drawn comparisons to chronic fatigue syndrome.


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