Dutch woman's COVID death first known case from reinfection

A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as the 2019 novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the United States. Note the crown-like spikes on the outer edge of the virus, hence the term "coron

An 89-year-old woman in the Netherlands with a rare form of cancer has died after becoming infected with coronavirus for the second time, according to a medical journal. She is the first reported death from COVID-19 after becoming reinfected.

A report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases said the woman was hospitalized for five days for the initial COVID-19 diagnosis and went on to have a full recovery.

But 59 days later and two days after a new chemotherapy treatment for Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, she developed fever, cough, and had difficulty breathing. She tested positive for COVID-19 and negative for antibodies. Her condition deteriorated and two weeks later died.

“The two strains differed," according to the report comparing the COVID strain she died from and the one she initially had. 

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“It is likely that the second episode was a reinfection rather than prolonged shedding," according to the report.

A paper published Oct. 12 in the medical journal Lancet Infectious Diseases reports that a Nevada man was the first confirmed case of reinfection with the coronavirus in the United States.

Nevada man got virus twice, second time 'more severe'

The Washoe County resident originally tested positive for the virus in April and had symptoms including sore throat, cough, headache and nausea. He recovered and tested negative for the virus in May — but later that month he sought out an urgent care center with symptoms, including fever, headache, dizziness, cough, and nausea.

In early June, he tested positive again for the virus and went to the hospital. He later recovered.