First confirmed Coronavirus reinfection reported in Hong Kong: Researchers

*Case illustrates that reinfection can occur just a few months after recovery from the first infection

*News of incident is not as bad as it sounds; it is not cause for panic ─Health Experts

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As most parts of the global community are yet battling to contain the spread of the first wave of the disruptive novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), researchers in Hong Kong said that they had confirmed the first documented instance of someone being infected with Coronavirus a second time.

ConsumerConnect gathered that the scientists at the University of Hong Kong, Monday, August 24, 2020, said a patient got Coronavirus a second time four-and-a-half (4½) months after the initial infection and that the genomic sequence of the virus strain for the first infection was different than that of the second

The researchers in a statement said: “This case illustrates that reinfection can occur just after a few months of recovery from the first infection.

“Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in the global human population as is the case for other common-cold associated human coronaviruses, even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection.”

Some experts, though, said the news of the incident is not as bad as it sounds, and that it is not cause for panic. For one thing, the patient did not have any symptoms in the second infection.

Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, in the United States, in a tweet said: “This is interesting but not alarming…. First, this appears to be rare.

“Though we don’t go looking often enough so unclear. Second, person was asymptomatic during the re-infection.

“This is exactly what one would want to see with immunity — that you can pick up virus again, but that it won’t cause serious illness.”

It was learnt that one of the major questions still circulating around Coronavirus is how long immunity lasts.

Maria Van Kerkhove, an expert at the World Health Organisation (WHO), when asked about the Hong Kong results during a press briefing Monday, remarked that “what is not completely clear yet is how strong that immune response is, and for how long that immune response lasts.”

“We need to not jump to any conclusions,” Van Kerkhove cautioned.

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