According to a study, scientists have proven a renewed corona infection in a patient in the USA who has been recovering for some time. This shows that the immunity after an infection is not absolute and multiple infections are possible, the study said. In addition, the patient’s second disease was more severe than the first.
It is unclear, however, to what extent general conclusions can be drawn from this. The study by researchers led by Richard Tillett of the University of Nevada was submitted to “The Lancet” magazine, but has not yet been independently reviewed and published. The case seemed to represent the first proven double infection in the USA.
Recently, researchers in Hong Kong, Belgium and the Netherlands had reported documented cases of repeated infections. With almost 25 million coronavirus infections worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) assumes that these are isolated cases. It is still unclear how long immunity lasts after infection and how its duration is related to the severity of the disease, even a good eight months after the start of the pandemic.
The case in the US state of Nevada involves a 25-year-old patient who tested positive for the Sars-Cov-2 for the first time in mid-April. According to this, the person had cold symptoms and diarrhea. After recovery, two coronavirus tests were negative in May. On May 31, however, the patient sought medical attention for symptoms such as fever, headache and cough. After an x-ray of the chest, the person was discharged. Five days later, the patient was taken to an emergency room and needed respiration. There, a corona test at the beginning of June was again positive.
The researchers explained that genetic tests had shown that the first and second infections were different variants of sars-CoV-2. This speaks against a resurgence of the first infection. The researchers made clear that from the individual case not necessarily general conclusions could be won. “This could be a rare case,” they wrote in the article submitted on Thursday.
Researchers assume so far that a corona infection that has been through is likely to provide at least temporary protection against re-infection.
- Hector Pascua, with reports from Austrian Press Agency
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