For the first time, a patient twice-infected with COVID-19 has died from coronavirus-related complications. The 89-year Dutch woman suffered from Waldenstrom’s, a rare form of bone marrow cancer, and was undergoing immunocompromising treatments, according to NU.nl

The woman was first infected with COVID-19 earlier this year and was hospitalised for five days with a fever and persistent cough. She recovered but reported being more tired than usual.

Just two month later, the woman was infected for a second time during a round of chemotherapy. She once again developed a fever and breathing troubles and tested positive for coronavirus. Tests confirmed she had no antibodies to the virus.

Her condition quickly worsened, and two weeks later, the woman passed away.

Results of the research

Virologists have found that the virus had a different genetic makeup in each of the woman’s infections. This proves that the virus did not remain in the woman’s body, but that she did, in fact, become infected a second time.

Recontamination of the virus is extremely rare, with only 23 confirmed cases in the world. However, it’s important to note that studies of these types of reinfections present limitations to researchers, as they must be able to compare quality samples of both infections.

What is especially noteworthy about this woman’s case is that in all the other 22 instances, the patient has recovered from the second infection.

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Feature Image: Official US Navy Page/Wikimedia Commons 

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