7 vaccinated residents dead after outbreak of Colombian coronavirus variant at Zaventem care home

During the past two week 7 residents of a care home at Nossegem, near Zaventem in Flemish Brabant have died after having contracted the Colombian variant of coronavirus. All those that have died at the care home had been fully immunised against coronavirus. The Colombian variant of coronavirus is still very rare here in Belgium. However, the Leuven University (KUL) virologist Marc Van Ranst says that research carried out in the UK has found that the Colombian variant doesn’t make people any more ill than other coronavirus variants. 

On 16 July two coronavirus infections were confirmed at the Ter Burg care home. The infections were discovered in a section of the care home where the residents all have advanced forms of dementia. Due to the nature of their condition the residents wander about, and it is difficult to explain the hygiene measures designed to curb the spread of coronavirus to them.

As soon as the first infections were confirmed those in charge at the home put the afflicted section under quarantine.

The care home’s Kathleen Boydens told VRT News that a total of 20 residents tested positive. As measures had been taken the outbreak was contained in the section of the home where it had started.

Nevertheless, 7 of the 28 residents with advanced dementia have passed away. Some of these were in poor physical health to start with. One of them was terminally and another was being given palliative care. However, some of those that died were in relatively good physical health.

Kathleen Boydens explained that during the first week after the residents had tested positive their symptoms were generally mild. However, some residents became more at more ill and required oxygen.

All residents and members of staff that became infected had been fully immunised with the exception of a student that was working in the kitchen as a holiday job.

Those in charge are at a loss as to how and when the virus was able to get into the care home.


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