Hong Kong researchers report first documented coronavirus re-infection

Hong Kong, August 24

A Hong Kong man who recovered from COVID-19 was contaminated once more four-and-a-half months later within the first documented occasion of human re-infection, researchers on the University of Hong Kong mentioned on Monday.

The findings point out the illness, which has killed greater than 8,00,000 folks worldwide, could proceed to unfold amongst the worldwide inhabitants regardless of herd immunity, they mentioned.

The 33-year-old male was cleared of COVID-19 and discharged from a hospital in April, however examined constructive once more after getting back from Spain by way of Britain on Aug. 15.

The affected person had gave the impression to be beforehand wholesome, researchers mentioned within the paper, which was accepted by the worldwide medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

He was discovered to have contracted a unique coronavirus pressure from the one he had beforehand contracted and remained asymptomatic for the second an infection.

“The finding does not mean taking vaccines will be useless,” Dr. Kai-Wang To, one of many main authors of the paper, instructed Reuters.

“Immunity induced by vaccination can be different from those induced by natural infection,” To mentioned. ” will need to wait for the results of the vaccine trials to see if how effective vaccines are.”

World Health Organisation (WHO) epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove mentioned on Monday that there was no want to leap to any conclusions in response to the Hong Kong case.

Instances of individuals discharged from hospitals and testing constructive once more for COVID-19 an infection have been reported in mainland China. However, in these instances it was not clear whether or not they had contracted the virus once more after full restoration – as occurred to the Hong Kong affected person – or nonetheless had the virus of their physique from the preliminary an infection.

The preliminary variety of sufferers in China who examined constructive once more as soon as being discharged from hospital was 5%-15%, Wang Guiqiang, an infectious illness specialist in China’s skilled group for COVID-19 remedy, mentioned throughout a press briefing in May.

One clarification was that the virus nonetheless existed within the lungs of sufferers however was not detected in samples taken from higher elements of the respiratory tract, he mentioned. Other doable causes had been low sensitivity of checks and weak immunity that might result in persistent constructive outcomes, he added.

Jeffrey Barrett, an skilled and guide with the COVID-19 Genome Project at Britain’s Wellcome Sanger Institute, mentioned in emailed feedback to Reuters that it was very onerous to make any robust inference from a single statement.

“Given the number of global infections to date, seeing one case of re-infection is not that surprising even if it is a very rare occurrence,” he mentioned. Reuters


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