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Current Affairs

Coronavirus variants infecting at a same time

Date: 15 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Two different variants of SARS CoV-2 virus have infected a woman at the same time. It is the first such documented case in the world.

 

Background

The Belgian woman was infected with both the Alpha (UK) and Beta (South Africa) variant before she ultimately succumbed to the infection.

 

Details

  • The instance of an individual getting infected with two variants of a virus at a same time is rare but it is possible.

  • If an individual is exposed to multiple infected persons, they may pick up infection from one or all of them. This harbors multiple strains.

  • It is also possible that a new virus can infect an individual when initial one is in incubation period and symptoms have not been shown by the body.

  • This is not unique to Covid-19. Such instances have been previously seen in HIV AIDS patients. The threat of multiple infections may depend on severity.

 

Chances of occurrence

  • The chances are low as getting infected from multiple persons is rare. Person picking up infection from multiple sources also occurs in some isolated cases only.

  • To identify such cases, genome sequencing has to be performed. If individual is infected with same strain multiple times, only minor changes can be visible.

 

Threats

  • Scientists have stressed that there is no need to worry as all strains are neutralized by vaccine. The cases are too rare to worry for.

  • The health concerns of infected individuals will depend on their body immunity, lethal capability of the virus among many.