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COVID-19: 90-yr-old woman aged 90 died with double variant infection

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EXPERTS say it’s possible to catch two COVID variants at the same time, they warned after seeing a double infection in a 90-year-old woman who became sick with the Alpha and Beta types first identified in the UK and South Africa.

  The woman, who died in March 2021 in Belgium, had not been vaccinated.

  Her doctors suspect she contracted the infections from two different people.

  They believe it is the first documented case of its kind and, although rare, similar dual infections are happening.

  Her case is being discussed at this year’s European Congress on Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.

  In January 2021, scientists in Brazil reported that two people had been simultaneously infected with two types of coronavirus, one of them a variant of concern called Gamma.

  Researchers from Portugal, meanwhile, recently treated a 17-year-old who appeared to have caught a second type of COVID-19 while still recovering from a different, pre-existing COVID infection.

  The 90-year-old, who was infected with the two “variants of concern” – the most worrying new versions of coronavirus that experts are tracking – had been admitted to hospital after experiencing some falls, but later developed worsening respiratory symptoms.

  Laboratory tests on samples taken when she was admitted revealed she had COVID-19, caused by two different mutated versions of the pandemic virus, simultaneously – Alpha and Beta.

  Lead researcher Dr Anne Vankeerberghen, from the OLV hospital in Aalst, Belgium, said: “Both these variants were circulating in Belgium at the time, so it is likely that the lady was co-infected with different viruses from two different people. Unfortunately, we don’t know how she became infected.

  “She was a lady who lived alone, but she got a lot of helpers coming in to care for her.

  “Whether the co-infection of the two variants of concern played a role in the fast deterioration of the patient is difficult to say.”

  Viruses constantly evolve by mutating as they replicate. This creates new versions or variants.

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