Can You Get Co-Infected by 2 COVID Variants at Once?

What do we know about COVID-19 co-infections?

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>A 90-year-old woman in Belgium was found to be infected by 2 COVID variants at once.</p></div>

In a first documented case of its kind, a 90 year old woman in Belgium was found to be infected by 2 COVID variants at once.

The case of the woman– who succumbed to COVID back in March–was discussed at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) 2021 reported Reuters.

She was also reportedly unvaccinated.


What We Know About the Case

According to reports the woman was infected with the Alpha (B.1. 1.7) and the Beta (B.1.351) variants of SARS CoV-2.

The Woman, as mentioned was 90 years old and unvaccinated.

"Both variants were circulating (in March) in Belgium... it is therefore probable that this woman was infected by two different people with two variants of the virus. Unfortunately, we do not know how this infection happened,"
Anne Vankeerberghen, Molecular biologist, quoted by Reuters

What to Know About Co-Infections

Co-infections in themselves aren't entirely uncommon with viruses.

A study published in the journal Lancet points to COVID patients being co-infected with other pathogens.

FIT has, in a previous article spoken about how COVID makes a person more susceptible to fungal and other viral infections.

This case, however, may just have opened the doors to another potential threat as far as COVID-19 is concerned, showing that it is possible to be infected by 2 COVID variants at once.

What does this mean for us?

It must be noted that this case merely shows that two COVID variants can co-exist in a patient's body. The implication of this is still unknown.

Further research will be needed to determine if being infected by multiple variants at once could lead to more severe illness or not.

(Written with inputs from Reuters and Forbes.)

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