Two coronavirus strains can be caught at the same time, scientists have warned.
It’s believed the chance of catching two COVID variants at once is possible following reports of a dual infection from Brazil.
Furthermore, it could lead to new variants evolving.
It comes after two individuals tested positive for two Brazilian strains known as P.1 and P.2.
Researchers at Feevale University made the discovery after testing 90 people, who were infected in late November.
The pair simultaneously tested positive for the P.1 variant, which evolved separately in Manaus, Brazil.
One patient reportedly suffered mild symptoms, including a dry cough.
Meanwhile, the other experienced coughing, a sore throat and a headache.
It’s believed to be the world’s first double COVID infection.
Coronavirus strains: What have experts said?
Dr Fernando Spilki, a virologist at Feevale University in Rio Grande do Sul, is a lead researcher in the study.
He explained: “These co-infections can generate combinations and generate new variants even more quickly than has been happening.
“It would be another evolutionary pathway for the virus.”
Dr John McCauley, director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre at the Francis Crick Institute in London, also says the double infection is possible.
It would be another evolutionary pathway for the virus
Speaking to the MailOnline, he said: “Getting one strain up a nostril and another up another nostril doesn’t matter.
“But (the risk is) if they get to the back of the throat and then go into the same cell – then there’s an opportunity for this to happen.”
Matt Hancock expands mass coronavirus testing
The news follows shortly after reports revealed door-to-door mass testing is to be expanded into two new areas of England.
Speaking in the Commons, Matt Hancock outlined the coronavirus testing expansion plan.
The Health Secretary then issued a stay-at-home plea.
He said: “In all these areas it is imperative that people must stay at home and only leave home where it is absolutely essential.”
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