Two European sufferers are confirmed to have been re-infected with the coronavirus, in keeping with regional public broadcasters, elevating issues about folks’s immunity to the virus because the world struggles to tame the pandemic.
The information follows a report this week by researchers in Hong Kong a couple of man there who had been re-infected 4 and a half months after being declared recovered.
That has fuelled fears in regards to the effectiveness of potential vaccines in opposition to the virus, although consultants say there would should be many extra instances of re-infection for these to be justified.
Broadcasters mentioned on Tuesday a affected person within the Netherlands and one other in Belgium had additionally been re-infected with the virus that has led to a whole lot of hundreds of deaths worldwide and crippled the worldwide financial system.
Dutch broadcaster NOS cited virologist Marion Koopmans as saying the affected person within the Netherlands was an older individual with a weakened immune system.
She mentioned that instances the place folks have been sick with the virus a very long time and it then flares up are higher recognized.
However a real re-infection, as within the Dutch, Belgian and Hong Kong instances, requires genetic testing of the virus in each the primary and second an infection to see whether or not the 2 cases of the virus differ barely.
Koopmans, an adviser to the Dutch authorities, mentioned re-infections had been anticipated.
“That somebody would pop up with a re-infection, it would not make me nervous,” she mentioned. “We’ve got to see whether or not it occurs typically.”
Dutch Well being Ministry officers didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst advised Belgian broadcaster VRT he had not been shocked by the Hong Kong re-infection.
“For us it was not information as a result of now we have additionally had such a case in Belgium,” he advised the Terzake programme.
The Belgian case was a lady who had contracted COVID-19 for a primary time within the second week of March and for a second time in June.
“I believe that within the coming days that we’ll see different comparable tales … These might be exceptions, however do exist and it is not only one,” Van Ranst mentioned. “It isn’t excellent news.”
Van Ranst mentioned that in instances such because the Belgian girl’s through which the COVID-19 signs have been comparatively gentle, the physique might not have created sufficient antibodies to stop a re-infection, though they could have helped restrict the illness.