Tuesday, May 18

Coronavirus: Can a person be infected with two different variants of the virus at the same time and what happens if this happens?

  • Maitreyi Shivkumar
  • The Conversation*

Nurse conducting a covid test on a patient.


Detection of multiple variants in a person could then be the result of coinfection by different variants, or the generation of mutations in the patient after the initial infection.

Scientists from Brazil recently reported that two people were simultaneously infected with two different variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19.

This coinfection appeared to have no effect on the severity of the patients’ disease and both recovered without the need to be hospitalized.

Although this is one of the few cases of this type registered with SARS-CoV-2, and the study has not yet been published in a specialized journal, scientists have confirmed infections with multiple strains of other virusesrespiratory, like the flu.

This has raised questions about how these viruses can interact in an infected person and what it could mean for the emergence of new variants.


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