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Health officials say catching two COVID-19 variants at once is possible

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County Infectious Disease experts said it is possible to catch two covid-19 variants at the same time, but they said it is extremely rare.

Dr. Wesley Willeford said it happens with respiratory viruses like the flu, but he said it’s uncommon. Willeford said to catch two variants at once, you would have to be around two separate people each with different strains.

Dr. Willeford said it’s also hard to know how common double variants are, because testing for just one variant strain is already done infrequently.

Willeford said overall, he is not worried about people being at risk of two variants at once, because of the delta variants strength.

“I think Delta variant is going to be almost 100 percent of what we see circulating in a short period of time,” Willeford said. “That’s just because it’s so contagious. It is going to out compete every other strain, because it just does so much of a better job at spreading. I think the chances of getting two is going to be somewhat lower as we move forward in time because other strains are just going to be drowned out by Delta variant.”

Dr. Willeford said the risk is even less for those who are vaccinated. He said the vaccine is effective and protective against all variants.

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