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Women infected with two COVID-19 variants highlight the following risks | National

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Belgian researchers have revealed another risk in the fight against the disease, when a 90-year-old woman died after being infected with two different strains of COVID-19.

In the first peer-reviewed analysis of multiple strain infections, scientists found that women were infected with the first surfaced alpha mutant in the UK and the first beta strain found in South Africa. According to a report released Saturday and presented at the European Conference on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, infectious diseases probably came from different people.

The woman was admitted to a Belgian hospital in March after many falls and tested positive for COVID-19 on the same day. She lived alone, was cared for at home, and was not vaccinated. Her respiratory symptoms worsened rapidly and died five days later. Both strains were found in two tests when her respiratory sample was tested for a variant of concern. Researchers couldn’t say whether coinfection was involved in her rapid exacerbation.

The idea of ​​multiple infectious diseases is not completely new. In January, Brazilian scientists reported two cases of co-infection with COVID-19, but the study has not yet been published in a scientific journal. Researchers have also previously found evidence that people will become infected with multiple strains of the flu. Cases suggest that co-infection may be more common than currently known.

“The global outbreak of this phenomenon is probably underestimated due to the limited testing of the variant of concern and the lack of an easy way to identify duplicate infections by whole genome sequencing.” , Said Anne Vankirbergen, the lead author of the study and molecular biologist. From OLV Hospital in Aalst, Belgium. “It is still important to pay attention to coinfection.”

Such cases also raise the question of how much protection the vaccine can provide. As the rapidly expanding delta variant is now the predominant strain in many places, including the UK, pharmaceutical companies are rushing to test shots against the variant and create new versions that can provide better protection. .. Countries are also considering whether to offer booster shots this winter to prevent the vaccine from slowing down their response.

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