COVID-19 Reinfection: Hong Kong Reports World’s First Case
Hong Kong: Researchers here claim to have found the first evidence of someone being reinfected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Genetic tests have revealed that a 33-year-old man returning to Hong Kong from a trip to Spain in mid-August had a different strain of the coronavirus than the one he was previously infected with in March, said lead researcher Dr Kelvin Kai-Wang To, a microbiologist at University of Hong Kong.
The man had mild symptoms the first time and none the second time; his more recent infection was detected through screening and testing at the Hong Kong airport, the Financial Express reported.
“It shows that some people do not have lifelong immunity to the virus even if they have already had it. We don’t know how many people can get reinfected. There are probably more out there,” Dr To said.
The paper has been accepted by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, but not yet published.
However, some independent experts have urged caution on the finding until full results are available.
Whether people who have had COVID-19 are immune to new infections and for how long are key questions that have implications for vaccine development and decisions about returning to work, school and social activities.
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