Researchers in Hongkong reported on Monday, August 24, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection. A 33-year-old man who was first infected by the SARS-CoV-2 strain in late March is the first person to have caught the novel coronavirus twice, according to the experts of the University of Hongkong, Department of Medicine. He possibly contracted the virus again while traveling in Europe after four and a half months of COVID free. The man didn’t develop any symptoms the second time.
This became a manor clue for questions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, there are some reports of potential reinfection cases worldwide, but none of them had been confirmed until a group of researchers in Hongkong reported on a case of a patient who was infected with two different strains of the Coronavirus. They found out that the genes of this virus had 24 different nucleotides, or building blocks, in its sequence than the first virus that infected him. “There have been anecdotal reports of people being reinfected,” says Charlotte Houldcroft at the University of Cambridge, who wasn’t involved in the work. “But this is the first time that there’s good immunological data on the individual.”
According to an expert, this reinfection case should not spread fear to people and COVID1-19 recovered patients. “This is no cause for alarm – this is a textbook example of how immunity should work,” Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the Yale School of Medicine, wrote on Twitter. “This is encouraging,” Iwasaki wrote. “While this is a good example of how primary infection can prevent disease from subsequent infection, more studies are needed to understand the range of outcomes from reinfection.”