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Assam doctor infected with two different Covid-19 variants simultaneously

Covid dual infection case: There have been few such instances in the UK, Brazil, and Portugal but such a case has not been reported from India so far (REUTERS)Premium
Covid dual infection case: There have been few such instances in the UK, Brazil, and Portugal but such a case has not been reported from India so far (REUTERS)

  • The female doctor had mild sore throat, body ache, and insomnia and recovered without hospitalisation
  • Recently, a 90-year-old woman in Belgium, who was not vaccinated at all, reported a rare case of dual infection

A doctor in Assam has been infected with two different variants of Covid-19 simultaneously, a scientist said. According to senior scientist Dr BJ Borkakoti, a fully vaccinated female doctor in Assam has been infected with Alpha and Delta variants of coronavirus.

"We have detected double infection of Covid-19 by two different variants of concern-- Alpha & Delta. A lady doctor was found to be infected simultaneously with both the variants," Dr BJ Borkakoti, Senior Scientist, Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh said.

However, the senior scientist said that the lady doctor's health condition was completely fine. She had mild sore throat, body ache, and insomnia and recovered without hospitalisation, he added.

"It will be similar to any other mono-infection of the virus, nothing to worry that the dual infection will cause the severe disease, it is not like that. We have followed the case for one month and she is quite all right," he added.

“A double infection happens when two variants infect one person simultaneously or within a very short period of time. It occurs when someone gets infected with one variant, but gets re-infected with another variant within 2-3 days of the first infection and before antibodies could develop," Dr BJ Borkakoti said.

The Dibrugarh's Regional Medical Research Centre detected the double infection in the woman doctor in early May.

A month after receiving the second dose, the woman and her husband, both doctors at a COVID Care Centre, tested COVID-19 positive and the latter was infected with the Alpha variant, Dr Borkakoti added.

"We collected their samples again and the second round of tests re-confirmed the double infection in her. We also did whole genome sequencing and it made us sure that it was a case of being infected by both variants at the same time," Dr. Borkakoty said.

It must be noted that the Alpha Covid variant was first identified in the UK and the Delta variant in India.

During the initial phase of the second wave in Assam around February-March this year, most coronavirus cases were due to the Alpha variant but from April, cases of Delta variant infections started to emerge.

"Both the Alpha and Delta variants were circulating then and it is during this period when some people are most likely to have got infected with two different variants of the virus. When such infections are detected, it is called a dual infection", Dr. Borkakoty explained.

There have been few such instances in the UK, Brazil, and Portugal but such a case has not been reported from India so far, Dr Borkakoty said.

Recently, a 90-year-old woman in Belgium, who was not vaccinated at all, reported a rare case of dual infection. The old woman was infected with Alpha and Beta variants of Covid, but later she died.

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