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1st Case of COVID-19 Double Infection Recorded in India: What to Know

Genomic sequencing revealed, the fully vaccinated doctor was infected with both Alpha and Delta variants.

Published
Coronavirus
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>This is the first case of someone being infected with 2 COVID variants being recorded in India.</p></div>
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A fully vaccinated doctor in Assam is said to have been infected by 2 different variants of COVID-19.

The doctor had contracted COVID in May, which is also when lab tests found she was infected with both Alpha and Delta variants, reported News 18.

This is the first case of COVID infection from multiple variants to be recorded in India and the second known one in the world.

Earlier this month, an elderly woman in Belgium was reported as the first documented case of multiple variant COVID infection.

Before we start panicking, lets look at what we know about the possibility of being infected by multiple COVID variants, and its ramification.

The First Case of Double Infection in India

According to reports, the doctor and her husband, both contracted COVID-19 a month after their second dose.

While her husband was found to have been infected with the Alpha variant, genomic sequencing revealed that the doctor was infected with two variants.

“We collected their samples again and the second round of tests re-confirmed the double infection in her. We also did whole genome sequencing and it made us sure that it was a case of being infected by both variants at the same time."
Dr B Borkakoty, senior scientist at ICMR, quoted by News 18

During the early months of the second wave, both Alpha and Delta variants were circulation in Assam, and at this time, the possibility of double infections were more likely.

The woman has since recovered having experienced mild COVID symptoms.

Double Infections: Should You Be Concerned?

Because so few cases of double infections have been recorded so far, not much is known about the danger they pose.

Being infected with two variants basically means that COVID variants can co-exist in the body.

Dr B Borkakoty explains how in such case, one variant is usually the dominant one, causing the damage.

He also goes on to talk about how it can be difficult to detect double variants with traditional genomic sequencing methods.

“Most cases of dual infection may be missed if genetic sequencing is solely based on next-generation sequencing where variant calling is by software and not by manual examination of the specific genetic sequence."
Dr B Borkakoty, senior scientist at ICMR, quoted by News 18

Further research is needed to determine whether double infections could lead to more severe infection.

(Written with inputs from News 18.)

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