First COVID-19 Reinfection Case Observed in Hong Kong

First COVID-19 Reinfection Case Observed in Hong Kong

It is the first such case documented by a team of researchers at the University of Hong Kong.

World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said on Monday that there was no need to jump to any conclusions over the Hong Kong case.

Hong Kong scientists are reporting the case of a healthy man in his 30s who became reinfected with coronavirus four and a half months after his first bout.

The man had no symptoms during the second infection which was picked up by screening tests on returning passengers at Hong Kong airport.

"This report sequenced the virus from both rounds of infection and found differences in both sets of the virus, showing that the patient may have been infected a second time".

Therefore, people with previous Covid-19 infection should comply with control measures like wearing face coverings and social distancing.

Still, Wren stressed that with more than 23 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, the newly identified reinfection should not derail global vaccine development efforts. Their study has also been accepted by the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

For example, studies tracking larger numbers of cases over time are needed to better understand how strong and how long the neutralizing antibody response to the virus is in people who've recovered.

The number of daily new COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong retreated on Monday to the single-digit for the first time since the third round of outbreak but a health official still warned that the epidemic has yet to be completely contained.

Viral genomes from first and second episodes belong to different clades/lineages. He made a full recovery, but again tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling home from Europe in mid-August. "If there is a reinfection, it suggests the possibility there was residual immunity. that helped protect the patient" from getting sick again, Goodman said.

The findings have big potential implications for vaccine use, as well as policies based around the concept of herd immunity that presume those who recover from the virus are unlikely to be reinfected.

"Since the immunity can be short lasting after natural infection, vaccination should also be considered for those with one episode of infection". While other reports of reinfections have surfaced anecdotally, this is the first to be verified by rigorous testing.

But immunologists also emphasized that the case was not a surprise, given what is already known about the response to the virus. "However, there is evidence that some patients have waning antibody levels after a few months".

"In summary, reinfection is possible 4.5 months after a first episode of symptomatic infection".

Scientists have reported that a 33-year-old man has been infected twice by different versions of the coronavirus a few months apart.

One explanation was that the virus still existed in the lungs of patients but was not detected in samples taken from upper parts of the respiratory tract, he said.

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