Deltacron has been described as mixture of the Delta variant, which spread through Australia last year, and the Omicron variant, which led to high case loads across the nation over the Christmas holidays and into this year.
The new variant was initially detected in February in the north of France and has been steadily popping up around the world, particularly in Europe and the United States.
Confirmation that the first Deltacron case in Australia was reported by New South Wales on Friday and on Saturday Queensland Health said “a number of cases” had also been detected here through genomic sequencing.
Infectious diseases expert Paul Griffin said most variants of concern have come through “spontaneous changes” or “errors when the virus has been reproducing”.
“That’s what we’ve seen with the emergence of Delta and, subsequently, Omicron,” Associate Professor Griffin said.
Deltacron, however, occurred through a different process known as “recombination”.
What’s happened here is that, at some point, somebody was infected with both [Delta and Omicron], and they’ve essentially just mixed up their genetic material to create a hybrid,” said.
Dr Griffin said that, while the new variant looked like Delta, it acted more like Omicron.