More people are getting COVID-19 twice, suggesting immunity wanes quickly in some

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“You’re kidding me!” Sanne de Jong, a nursing assistant, said when she was told she had COVID-19 again in July.

MIRANDA DE JONG

By Jop de VriezeNov. 18, 2020 , 12:55 PM

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

In late June, Sanne de Jong developed nausea, shortness of breath, sore muscles, and a runny nose. At first, she thought it might be lingering effects from her COVID-19 infection in the spring. De Jong, 22, had tested positive on 17 April and suffered mild symptoms for about 2 weeks. She tested negative on 2 May—just in time to say farewell to her dying grandmother—and returned to work as a nursing intern in a hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

But when her symptoms re-emerged, her doctor suggested she get tested again. “A reinfection this soon would be peculiar, but not impossible,” she told De Jong, who by then had again lost her sense of smell and had abdominal pains and diarrhea.

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The call from her municipal health service came on 3 July. De Jong had tested positive again. “You’re kidding me!” she recalls saying.

Scientists are keenly interested in cases like hers, which are still rare but on …

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