Three more Covid reinfection cases discovered in Netherlands: RIVM
A total of four patients in the Netherlands have had the coronavirus twice. All four cases involved people over the age of 60, and for all of them the second infection was relatively mild even though people in their age group are at high risk of becoming very ill from the virus, public health institute RIVM confirmed to Business Insider.
Erasmus MC virologist Marion Koopmans confirmed the first reinfection to broadcaster NOS earlier this week. The Rotterdam hospital confirmed to Business Insider that the patient in question was elderly and had pre-existing conditions.
RIVM spokesperson Harald Wychgel told the newspaper that another reinfection was found in a nursing home, roughly two months after the patient was first diagnosed with Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. The other two cases were in Tilburg. Both were men over 60 and both had mild infections.
In all four cases, laboratory tests confirmed that the genetic fingerprints of the virus were different in the second infection than the first, confirming that they were indeed reinfections. The period of time between the first and second infections ranged from weeks to months.
Earlier this week, Koopmans told NOS that the world health authorities expected that there would be Covid-19 reinfections, as this is common with respiratory diseases. She added that this is no reason for panic.
The mild second infections in the Netherlands suggest that antibodies against the coronavirus can help the body fight a second infection, even if it can't prevent infection perfectly. Similarly, even if an eventual Covid-19 vaccine isn't perfectly effective, it could help prevent a pandemic by giving enough people enough immunity to avoid the need for hospital treatment.