Also recontamination in the Netherlands and Belgium

A recontamination with SARS-CoV-2 has also been identified in the Netherlands. That’s what virologist Marion Koopmans said in a reaction to the news from Hong Kong earlier in the day. There a man appears to have been infected twice with the coronavirus.

In the Netherlands it concerns an elderly patient with a deteriorated immune system, reports Koopmans, one of the most important advisors of the World Health Organization and the Cabinet

For an official recontamination, researchers should be able to demonstrate that the codes of that RNA differ. This appears to be the case in the patients in Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

In Belgium, a recontamination with the coronavirus was also discovered today. This concerns a woman in Leuven, who was re-infected with SARS-CoV-2.

three months after the first time

The virus is also genetically determined at both times, says the Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst in the current affairs programme Terzake. “There are indeed enough differences in it, to speak of another strain, a second infection.”

Sailing zone

“It’s not good news,” says the virologist. “You hope you’re out of danger. Hopefully, in most cases, you will be.” Whether the recontamination is an exception, he says, is still unclear. “There are already two, there may be more now.”

The Belgian patient would have had mild symptoms. “Then your body produces fewer antibodies. The antibodies from the first time do not help enough to prevent the second infection”, says Van Ranst.

Koopmans doesn’t want to address the complaints of the Dutch patient.

Potentially, victims of a recontamination are just more susceptible to the virus, says Van Ranst. “But perhaps there are many more people who could be re-infected after six or seven months.”

Two, three strikes

“Respiratory tract infections can strike twice, or more often. We know that you’re not protected for life if you’ve had the infection and that’s what we expect from covid,” says Koopmans. The big question now is: how long does the average immunity last?
Bright immune response

She says she sees that people have a clear immune reaction after an infection. “We expect that to protect against another infection. So the question is, how long will that protection last?”

“It doesn’t make me nervous that someone will shoot in between with a recontamination,” says Koopmans. Certainly not if, as in the Dutch case, it concerns someone with reduced resistance.

“We need to investigate these cases and see if they occur more often.” This can be done by monitoring a larger group of patients for a longer period of time and investigating whether they have re-infections. “