August 25, 2020, 04.59 PM

But a true reinfection, as in the Dutch, Belgian, and Hong Kong cases, requires genetic testing of the virus in both the first and second infection to see whether the two instances of the virus differ slightly.

Koopmans, an adviser to the Dutch government, said reinfections had been expected.

"That someone would pop up with a reinfection, it doesn't make me nervous," she said. "We have to see whether it happens often."

Dutch Health Ministry officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst told Belgian broadcaster VRT he had not been surprised by the Hong Kong reinfection.

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"For us, it was not news because we have also had such a case in Belgium," he told the Terzake program.

The Belgian case was a woman who had contracted Covid-19 for the first time in the second week of March and for a second time in June.

"I think that in the coming days that we will see other similar stories ... These could be exceptions but do exist and it's not just one," Van Ranst said. "It's not good news."

Van Ranst said that in cases such as the Belgian woman's in which the Covid-19 symptoms were relatively mild, the body may not have created enough antibodies to prevent reinfection, although they might have helped limit the sickness.

(Writers: Toby Sterling, Anthony Deutsch, Philip Blenkinsop | Editors: Christopher Cushing, Mark Potter)

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-netherlands-reinfe/two-european-patients-re-infected-with-coronavirus-reports-idUSKBN25L0LF 

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