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COVID-19 reinfection may be possible in rare cases, Hong Kong researchers say

COVID-19 reinfection may be possible under certain conditions, researchers said

Pamela Lam and her son are silhouetted in Hong Kong, Friday, July 3, 2020. Lam’s 6-year-old son fell in love with the Hong Kong protest anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong,” the first time he heard it and sings it quite often.
Pamela Lam and her son are silhouetted in Hong Kong, Friday, July 3, 2020. Lam’s 6-year-old son fell in love with the Hong Kong protest anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong,” the first time he heard it and sings it quite often.
Kin Cheung, Associated Press

Hong Kong researchers said they have found the first confirmed case of someone being reinfected with the coronavirus, The New York Times reports.

University of Hong Kong researchers said Monday in a statement that a young and healthy patient suffered from a second case of the novel coronavirus about 4.5 months after the first infection.

  • “Our results prove that his second infection is caused by a new virus that he acquired recently rather than prolonged viral shedding.” — according to Dr. Kelvin Kai-Wang To, a clinical microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters:

The New York Times said: “The report is of concern because it suggests that immunity to the coronavirus may last only a few months in some people. And it has implications for vaccines being developed for the virus.”

Can you get coronavirus twice?

  • For awhile now, health experts said they’re unsure if people can get the novel coronavirus twice. Experts suggest those who get COVID-19 will have some immunity to the virus, but it’s unclear how long the immunity will last, according to The Associated Press.
  • There have been reports of people testing positive for the virus weeks after they’ve recovered from it, which hints at reinfection. But experts told The Associated Press it’s more likely that it’s the same illness but the tests detected some of the original infection.