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25-year-old man reinfected with Covid-19; experiences worse symptoms

Web Report
Filed on October 15, 2020
covid, man, reinfected, hospitalised

(AFP file)

He was rushed to hospital after his lungs could not get enough oxygen into his body.


A 25-year-old man from Nevada, US, who recovered from Covid-19 was infected a second time a month later with even worse symptoms, a study found.

The study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases stressed that in spite of recovering from Covid-19, the man, with no underlying conditions or immune defects, was rushed to hospital after his lungs could not get enough oxygen into his body.

The man suffered from a sore throat, cough, headache, nausea, and diarrhea, and tested positive on April 18. He self-isolated for nine days, following which his symptoms resolved and he tested negative for the virus on two occasions on May 9 and 26.

However, two days later he began to feel unwell again, and a test on June 5 found him to be positive for the second time along with hypoxic (low blood oxygen) and shortness of breath.
According to the study, the man caught coronavirus twice, rather than the original infection becoming dormant and then flaring back. A comparison of the genetic codes of the virus showed they were too distinct to be caused by the same infection, reported BBC.

Researchers believe this to be the first documented case of reinfection in the US. And although reinfections remain rare, the suggests that having had Covid-19 does not automatically make a person immune to the virus.

"Our findings signal that a previous infection may not necessarily protect against future infection," said Dr Mark Pandori, from the University of Nevada.

While it is still not known why the Nevada patient became more severely ill when he contracted Covid-19 the second time, researchers believe the man may have been exposed to a bigger initial dose of the virus.

Besides this, the researchers also suggest that it also remains possible that the initial immune response made the second infection worse, similar to diseases like dengue fever.





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