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Woman dies after catching DUAL Covid strains

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In Belgium, a 90-year-old woman died after contracting two different strains of the COVDID-19 coronavirus.

It is indicated that the woman was confirmed with the Alpha strain, which first appeared in the UK, and the Beta strain, first identified in South Africa.

This case was presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. It is assumed that the infection of a woman could come from different people.

She was admitted to the hospital in March and was diagnosed with the infection the same day. The woman was not vaccinated. She died five days after hospitalization.

So far, it has not been possible to confirm that it was the double infection that provoked such a rapid deterioration in the patient’s condition.

Scientists believe that the phenomenon of infection with two strains at once is “probably underestimated”, so its further study is extremely important.

Scientists are now warning that, although rare, dual infections are happening.

Dr Anne Vankeerberghen, lead researcher from the OLV hospital in Aalst, Belgium, said the co-infection likely hastened her symptoms.

She 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.”

The evolved forms of the virus are believed to have originated in Kent and Brazil respectively.

Both Alpha and Beta strains are classed as “variants of concern” and have mutations that differ from the base version of the virus.

Covid variants are a worry to public health as they might have the ability to replicate more quickly or contain mutations that provide limited protection from vaccines.

Similar ‘co-infection’ cases with other strains have already been recorded in Brazil and Portugal.

Back in January, Brazilian scientists reported two people have contracted two types of the virus – one of them being the Gamma variant – also considered a variant of concern.

Similarly, in Portugal a 17-year-old who was still recovering from a pre-existing Covid condition appeared to have caught a second type.

Recent data suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines were 96 percent and 92 percent effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant respectively after two doses.

However, a study compiled by Israel’s Ministry of Health released last week suggests the Pfizer vaccine becomes less effective at dealing with variants after six months – dropping to around 64 percent efficacy.

The Delta variant, first identified in India, is the most prevalent strain in the UK and US.

Image Credit: Getty

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