İrem UZUN -TDO- An 89-year-old Dutch woman with a rare type of bone marrow cancer died after she became infected with COVID-19 for the second time, researchers have reported. The woman, who was not identified in the case report, first tested positive for the coronavirus after going to the emergency room for severe cough and fever.
The woman’s 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. 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." The patient was admitted into hospital earlier this year with a severe cough and fever, testing positive for COVID-19. She was discharged five days later when her symptoms subsided completely, according to the report. But 59 days after the start of the first COVID-19 episode, the woman developed fever, cough and difficulty breathing. She once again tested positive for coronavirus, and no antibodies were detected in her blood system when tested on days four and six. Her condition deteriorated on day eight. Two weeks later, the woman died.
In the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, researchers said "Reinfection with COVID-19 has been reported in at least four individuals worldwide. Thus, previous exposure to COVID-19 does not necessarily translate to guaranteed total immunity. The implications of reinfections could be relevant for vaccine development and application. From a public health perspective, all individuals must take identical precautions to prevent infection with COVID-19. Further work is needed to assess immune reactions in vitro after reinfection".