Posted: Monday, August 24, 2020. 9:34 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Reuters reports that researchers in Hong Kong have documented their first instance of a person catching COVID-19 again, four and a half months after he recovered from his first infection.
The researchers from the University of Hong Kong say that the 33-year-old male, was hospitalized back in April due to COVID-19, and tested positive again after returning to Hong Kong from Spain on August 15. The researchers say he contracted a different strain of the coronavirus and that he is a-symptomatic for the current COVID-19 infection.
The researchers published their findings in a research paper which was accepted by the international medical journal ‘Clinical Infectious Diseases’.
Reuters quotes Dr. Kai-Wang To, one of the leading authors of the paper as saying “the finding does not mean taking vaccines will be useless.” Dr. To also said, “immunity induced by vaccination can be different from those induced by natural infection.[We] will need to wait for the results of the vaccine trials to see how effective vaccines are.”
The research has caught the attention of the World Health Organization (WHO), with epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove saying that there is no need to jump to any conclusions in response to the Hong Kong case. Notably, cases have also been reported in mainland China, with preliminary results of patients that tested positive again after being discharged from the hospital ranging between 5-15 percent. However, in these cases it is not clear whether those patients made full recoveries before testing positive again (as in the case of the Hong Kong patient) or whether these patients still had virus particles in their body after the initial infection
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