How common is simultaneous infection with two Covid-19 virus variants? An expert weighs in

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Joao Paulo Burini

As South Africa battles with a third Covid-19 wave, the possibility of becoming infected with different variants simultaneously can't be ruled out, says Dr Jinal Bhiman, a principal medical scientist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

"In a situation where multiple variants are co-circulating, dual infection is more likely. The NICD has observed multiple cases of infection with more than one version of the same variant, as well as a handful of cases where distinct variants have been detected in the same diagnostic swab.

"We have, however, to date not documented a case of dual infection with two different variants of concern," Bhiman told Health24. 

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