As Fox News reported, the 89-year-old woman initially went to the emergency room with a severe cough and fever. At that point, she was tested and confirmed to have a positive case of COVID-19. She was discharged five days later with fatigue.
Two months later, the woman began chemotherapy for a rare bone marrow type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma called Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.
Shortly after starting the treatment, she began to have symptoms of COVID-19 once again — this time worse than the initial instance — with a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The test marked 59 days since her initial diagnosis. The unnamed patient was re-checked for the disease and once again received a positive result.
She was given a pair of antibody tests two days apart and both came back negative. Two weeks later, she died.
The case was published in a study by Oxford University Press.
“Our patient was immunocompromised, because of Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia treated with B-cell-depleting therapy, resulting in a declined humoral immunity,” the report indicated. “However, it was shown that B-cell-depleting therapy does not necessarily result in [a] life-threatening disease, suggesting that the innate immune response and T-cell immunity can be sufficient to eliminate SARS-CoV-2.”
While this isn’t the first time that reinfection has been reported, it is the first documented instance that someone has died from the virus upon reinfection. There have been reinfection reports in the Netherlands, Hong King, Belgium, Ecuador, and most recently, a man in Las Vegas was reinfected.
According to the BBC, the man tested positive in April but was fully recovered in just over a week. He subsequently received two negative tests in May. By the end of May, he started having a fever along with a headache, dizziness, a cough, nausea, and diarrhea. A week later, he tested positive once again and had low blood oxygen.
Scientists examined the virus and found that the genetic code was different enough to make it clear that it was reinfection rather than an extension of the same one.
Researchers found something similar in the situation with the Dutch patient.
“Although we did not have PCR negative samples in between episodes, with an average estimated SARS-CoV-2 mutation rate of 33 nucleotides per year, it is likely that the second episode was reinfection rather than prolonged shedding,” they wrote.
The news comes as President Donald Trump has been touting his recovery from the disease, saying that he is likely immune now, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Critics have pushed back, arguing that he could become reinfected or be a carrier without knowing it.