BELGIUM: This is the first time that such a case has been documented: researchers present the case of a Belgian woman, aged 90, who died of COVID-19 after being infected simultaneously with the Alpha and Beta variants of SARS- CoV-2.
The woman, who was not vaccinated, was admitted to the OLV hospital in the city of Aalst, Belgium, after a spate of new cases in March and tested positive for COVID-19 the same day. Her oxygen level was initially good, but her condition quickly deteriorated. She died five days later.
After analysis, researchers discovered that she carried the Alpha strain (initially nicknamed “British variant”) and the Beta variant (initially nicknamed “South African variant”).
“These two variants were circulating in Belgium at the time, so it is likely that the woman was co-infected with different viruses from two different people.” said molecular biologist Anne Vankeerberghen of the OLV Hospital, who led the research. “Unfortunately, we don’t know how she got infected.“ Vankeerberghen said it was difficult to say whether the co-infection played a role in the patient’s rapid deterioration in health.