Brussels, Jul 11 (EFE).- Researchers at a Belgian hospital have said that a 90-year-old patient who died from Covid-19 in March became infected with two coronavirus variants at the same time, the Alpha variant first detected in the United Kingdom and the Beta variant associated with South Africa.
Anne Vankeerberghen, the lead researcher at the OLV hospital in Alost, northern Belgium, said that it was the first documented case of a coinfection of two so-called coronavirus variants of concern, according to the local De Morgen newspaper Sunday.
The patient, who had not been vaccinated, was admitted to hospital in March after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Her condition quickly deteriorated and she died five days later.
Covid-19 tests on the patient revealed she was infected with both the Alpha and Beta variants of the virus.
“Both were circulating in Belgium at that moment,” Vankeerberghen, adding it was likely that the woman became coinfected with different variants from two different people.
The molecular biologist said it was “difficult” to tell whether the two variants were behind the rapid deterioration of the patient’s health.
The case has not yet been published in a medical journal but will be discussed at the European Congress on Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.
Vankeerberghen said that although this was the first confirmed case of a coinfection of two coronavirus variants, the phenomenon was probably “underestimated,” according to De Morgen.EFE