A 90-year-old Belgian woman passed away after being infected with both the Alpha and Beta variants of the coronavirus at the same time.
As per several reports, researchers in Belgium said on Sunday that it is a rare phenomenon that may be underestimated.
The deceased, an unvaccinated woman, who lived alone and received at-home nursing care, was admitted to the OLV Hospital in the Belgian city of Aalst and tested positive for Covid-19 the same day.
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While her oxygen levels were initially good, her condition deteriorated rapidly and she died five days later.
When medical staff tested for the presence of any variants of concern they found that she was carrying both the Alpha strain, which originated in Britain, and the Beta variant first detected in South Africa.
“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,” said molecular biologist Anne Vankeerberghen from the OLV Hospital who led the research to AFP
“Unfortunately, we don’t know how she became infected,” she said to the agency.
Vankeerberghen said it was difficult to say whether the co-infection played a role in the fast deterioration of the patient.