The Belgian old woman died from the simultaneous aggression of two variants of the coronavirus – South African and British.
According to Agence France-Presse today, a 90-year-old resident of the city of Aalste (East Flanria) was hospitalized in March with COVID-19. Within five days, despite the treatment, the woman’s condition rapidly deteriorated, and the disease was fatal.
Experts found that in the body of a woman who was not vaccinated, two strains of coronavirus were present at once – “alpha” and “beta”. Scientists speculate that she contracted the infection from two different people. This is the first documented and scientifically proven case of its kind. However, the researchers argue that, although rare, double infections do occur.
Anna Vankerbergen, a molecular biologist, notes that it is impossible to 100% say that the cause of death was precisely the double exposure of alpha and beta types, but the phenomenon of simultaneous infection with several strains is “probably underestimated.”
For example, according to the BBC, Brazilian scientists reported in January that two people were infected with two types of coronavirus at the same time. Portuguese specialists recently cured a 17-year-old teenager who contracted the second type of Covid but was still recovering from the effects of the first. OLV Hospital Lead Investigator Dr. Anna Vankerbergen explains:
“Both of these variants (approx. Alpha and beta) were circulating in Belgium at the time, so it is likely that the woman was simultaneously infected with different viruses from two different people. Unfortunately, we don’t know how she got infected. She was a woman who lived alone, but many helpers came to her to take care of her. It is difficult to say whether co-infection of the two of concern options played a role in the patient’s rapid deterioration. Viruses are constantly evolving, mutating during replication. This creates new versions or variations. “
A study on this topic, led by Anna Vankirbergen, will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).