In a shocking incident, a 90-year-old woman in Belgium has died after being concurrently infected with Alpha and Beta — two different variants of concern (VOCs) of Covid-19. According to reports, the woman was not vaccinated with any of the vaccine doses and this might be a reason which led to her death after being attacked with two extremely infectious variants.
An expert who is looking into the case was quoted as saying “This is one of the first documented cases of co-infection with two SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.”
He further added, “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.”
According to the reports, the woman was admitted to the hospital on March on March 3, 2021 and her medical history was unremarkable. She tested positive for Covid on the same day. She lived alone and received nursing care at her home. She had not been vaccinated against coronavirus. Two different strains of the virus-like Alpha (B117), which originated in the UK, and Beta (B1351), first detected in South Africa was confirmed to be present in further tests for VOCs with PCR.
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There were no signs of respiratory pain and the patient had good oxygen saturation explains the experts who are handling the case. However, she developed rapidly worsening respiratory symptoms and died five days later.
“Whether the co-infection of the two variants of concern played a role in the fast deterioration of the patient is difficult to say,” Vankeerberghen said.
“Up to now, there have been no other published cases. However, the global occurrence of this phenomenon is probably underestimated due to limited testing for variants of concern and the lack of a simple way to identify co-infections with whole-genome sequencing,” she noted.
The Scientists in Brazil in January 2021, reported that two people had been simultaneously infected with two different strains of the coronavirus — the Brazilian variant known as B1128 (E484K) and a novel variant VUI-NP13L, which had previously been discovered in Rio Grande do Sul. But the study has yet to be published in a scientific journal. The previous research has reported people infected with different influenza strains.