A non-vaccinated Belgian who has contracted the two types could be the first to die

Cidadãos caminham em Bruxelas, Bélgica
Citizens walk in Brussels, Belgium
Photo: Dursen Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A 90-year-old Belgian woman has died COVID-19 In March of this year he contracted two forms of the coronavirus at the same time, in what is believed to be the first documented case of its kind, Belgian media and an academic conference reported on Sunday.

The matter, discussed at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) this year, shows that it is possible to catch the two types of COVID-19 together, the society organizing the Congress said in a statement.

The society said the woman became ill with alpha and beta types previously identified in Britain and South Africa, and her doctors said she could have contracted the infection from two different people.

The Belgian public broadcaster in the Dutch VRT said the woman, who was being treated at a hospital in Alst, near Brussels, had not been vaccinated. Belgium, as a large part of European Union, in early 2021 faced vaccine delivery problems and its vaccination program began slowly, although the European Union has already distributed vaccines to cover 70% of the population.

The Society cited discussions at a July 9-12 Congress that doctors believe was the first documented case of its kind and that although rare, similar double infections are occurring.

“Both variants were circulating in Belgium (in March),” said molecular biologist Anne Venkerbergen of the OLV Hospital in Alst, on the VRT website.

“So it’s likely that this woman was infected by two different people with two types of the virus. Unfortunately, we don’t know how this infection happened,” she said.

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The European Commission, the EU executive, has warned that the highly contagious delta version of the coronavirus is expected to take effect in Europe this summer, citing projections from the European Union’s Disease Prevention Agency.

Muhammad Wayne

About the author: Muhammad Wayne

Wayne is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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