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First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 Reinfection

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Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

A 33-year-old man in Hong Kong has been the first reported case of COVID-19 reinfection. The first infection occurred in late March and the second infection four and a half months later.

Quote

“This is the world’s first documentation of a patient who recovered from Covid-19 but got another episode of Covid-19 afterwards,” the researchers said in a statement.

Researchers compared the sequencing from the two infections and found that they did not match which indicates the second infection was not linked to the first infection.

https://www.statnews.com/2020/08/24/first-covid-19-reinfection-documented-in-hong-kong-researchers-say/

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

Thanks for posting this!

I don’t think anyone of us are overly surprised. So far we’re never seen a coronavirus which results in life-long immunity after an infection. We know that the two more highly pathogenic coronaviruses (SARS CoV and MERS CoV) usually result in longer immunity than the four known coronaviruses that cause the common cold, which are also followed by immunity, but shorter in duration.

While it’s a bit difficult to remember today when we have over 23 million cases reported worldwide, on April 8 the number of reported cases was ”only” approximately 1.3 million. That’s about the time span for when this man tested positive his first time.


https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/covid-19-rapid-risk-assessment-coronavirus-disease-2019-eighth-update-8-April-2020.pdf

I’m not trying to make an exact analysis with these numbers as there are many factors that are only guesstimates of reality. Likely a whole lot more than 1.3 million had been infected by then since testing doesn’t catch all cases, especially not early in a pandemic. I’d also be willing to bet that this man isn’t the first to be reinfected, just the first confirmed case. But this still gives one a rough idea of how reinfections might look like. Not that one can draw any statistical conclusions at all, based on one case. Still, out of the ~1.3 million infected four and a half months or longer ago, we now have one reinfection. And his second infection is reported to be much milder than his first. To me this is actually good news.

Since number of confirmed cases have increased exponentionally since late March I think it’s reasonable to assume that we’ll see a corresponding increase in the number of reinfections in the coming months. Four and a half months being in the lower end of the immunity continuum seems reasonable for a Coronavirus to an amateur like myself 🙂 But no doubt we will know with more certainty in the coming months and years as we continue to gain more knowledge about this virus.

Edited by sirI
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Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

50 minutes ago, macawake said:

And his second infection is reported to be much milder than his first. To me this is actually good news.

Good news, indeed.