A 90-year-old Belgian woman died after she became infected with two different strains of COVID-19 at the same time, scientists revealed Sunday.
Her case was the first documented of a patient infected with two strains, although the “phenomenon is probably underestimated,” one of the lead researchers said, according to Agence France-Presse.
The patient, who was not vaccinated, became sick in March with the Alpha and Beta strains of the virus, which were first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, respectively, according to scientists at the European Congress on Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.
The woman was hospitalized in Aalst near Brussels after experiencing some falls, and tests determined that she had contracted the two variants, likely from different people, the BBC reported.
“Both variants were circulating [in March] in Belgium,” said lead researcher and molecular biologist Anne Vankeerberghen.
“It is therefore probable that this woman was infected by two different people with two variants of the virus. Unfortunately, we do