Health chiefs are now officially keeping tabs on a Covid variant that is a hybrid of the Omicron and Delta strains and has been spotted in the UK.
The super-mutant Deltacron is thought to have evolved in a patient who caught both variants at the same time but it is not clear if it was imported or originated in Britain.
UK Health Security Agency officials also don’t know how infectious or severe the newly evolved virus is or whether it will impact vaccine performance.
A source at the UKHSA insisted officials were ‘not concerned’ by the variant because case numbers are ‘low’.
The agency has not revealed how many times it has been spotted.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that it ‘shouldn’t pose too much of a threat’ because the UK has huge levels of immunity against the original Delta and Omicron strains.
‘So at the moment I’m not overly worried at the moment. If both Delta and Omicron are falling then, in theory, this [variant] should struggle to take off,’ he said.