Can you get infected with multiple variants of COVID-19? – Times of India
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A young doctor from Assam was recently found to be infected with both Alpha and Delta variants of COVID-19. The case caused a lot of anxiety among other infected and non-infected people. But a senior scientist gave a ray of hope by sharing that dual infection may not be associated with severe illness. To back this up, doctors from Assam have reported that patients with dual infection have a mild sore throat, body ache and insomnia and these people recovered without hospitalisation.

But yes, infection with multiple strains is possible. However, its relation and impact on mortality are still unknown, as there are very few cases to make any robust conclusion. The scientists are working on gathering more information.

This has also raised a question about how these viruses may interact in an infected person and what it could mean for generating new variants. The majority of dual infections were seen in patients who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
Multiple infections are a reality and can be an issue for people who are not vaccinated. For example, in the UK, where Delta and Alpha variants are quite prevalent, but double infections are not common since most of the population is vaccinated and thus the chances of reinfections and severe infections become less.

In India, not even 40 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated. There are so many people who haven't even received a single dose of vaccination, which is a cause of concern. Researchers say reinfection and multiple infections are possible and thus people must keep following the guidelines, whether they are vaccinated or not. People who have already had COVID should also take the vaccine as and when their turn comes.

Vaccination is the key to build an adequate and appropriate defence against COVID-19. And along with this, following COVID normal is equally important.

The risk of catching COVID-19 infection is higher in crowded places and places that are not well ventilated. If in such places, infected people spend a long time with other people in close proximity, there is a high chance of spreading the infection. The likelihood of spreading the infection through respiratory droplets or aerosols is more possible in such an environment.

Thus, keeping the room ventilated by keeping the door and windows open, not going to overcrowded places and keeping the indoor meeting short may go a long way in preventing the spread of the virus. Given an option, always prefer outdoor gatherings as they are safer than indoor places.
- Wear your facemask

- Maintain six feet distance between you and other people
- Avoid going to a large gathering
- Maintain social distancing, even when socialising with friends and family
- Getting vaccinated as soon as possible
- Wash your hands often/use sanitiser
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
- Cover your nose and mouth with your bend elbow or use a tissue while sneezing or coughing
- Do not forget to clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently like doorknobs, faucets and phone screens.
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