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Dutch woman dies after catching Covid-19 twice

October 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

An elderly Dutch woman has become the first known person to die from catching Covid-19 twice, according to experts, raising serious questions about how long immunity and antibodies can last.

(CNN)An elderly Dutch woman has become the first known person to die from catching Covid-19 twice, according to experts, raising serious questions about how long immunity and antibodies can last.

Her immune system was compromised due to the cell-depleting therapy she received, the researchers at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands wrote in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

However, the researchers said her natural immune response could still have been "sufficient" to fight-off Covid-19, as the type of treatment she received for cancer "does not necessarily result in life threatening disease. "

But two days into chemotherapy treatment -- 59 days after the start of the first Covid-19 episode -- the woman developed fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

The woman was not tested between infections, so researchers have no confirmed negative tests.

According to researchers in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, a medical journal, he tested positive for Covid-19 in April and again in June, showing symptoms in both cases such as sore throat, cough, headache, nausea, and diarrhea.

The man had no underlying health conditions but similarly to the Dutch woman, suffered a more severe episode the second time.

Unlike the Dutch woman however, the man developed a measurable antibody response after the second episode.

Researchers could not conclude how long the man was immune, or if he ever was.

In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers said: "Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 has been reported in at least four individuals worldwide.

In the report of the Dutch woman's case, researchers said Covid-19 reinfections are expected to occur once antibodies decrease and immunity wanes.

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