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COVID-19 again? Reinfection cases raise concerns over immunity

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LONDON (Reuters) – The case of a person within the United States contaminated twice with COVID-19 exhibits there’s a lot but to find out about immune responses and in addition raises questions over vaccination, scientists stated on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Protective face masks with flags design are seen on show in a store in Paris, because the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak continues in France, October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The 25-year-old from Reno, Nevada, examined constructive in April after displaying gentle signs, then acquired sick once more in late May with a extra critical bout, in keeping with a case report within the Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal.

The report was revealed simply hours after U.S. President Donald Trump, who was contaminated with COVID-19 and hospitalised earlier this month, stated he believes he now has immunity and felt “so powerful”.

Scientists stated that whereas identified incidences of reinfection seem uncommon – and the Nevada man has now recovered – cases like his have been worrying. Other remoted cases of reinfection have been reported all over the world, together with in Asia and Europe.

In the Netherlands, the National Institute for Public Health confirmed on Tuesday that an 89-year-old Dutch girl, additionally sick with a uncommon type of bone marrow most cancers, had just lately died after contracting COVID-19 for a second time.

Dutch media stated this was the primary identified case worldwide of a loss of life after SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus reinfection.


“It is becoming increasingly clear that reinfections are possible, but we can’t yet know how common this will be,” stated Simon Clarke, a microbiology skilled at Britain’s Reading University.

“If people can be reinfected easily, it could also have implications for vaccination programmes as well as our understanding of when and how the pandemic will end.”

The Nevada affected person’s medical doctors, who first reported the case in a non peer-reviewed paper in August, stated refined testing confirmed that the virus strains related to every bout of an infection have been genetically completely different.

“These findings reinforce the point that we still do not know enough about the immune response to this infection,” stated Paul Hunter, a professor in drugs at Britain’s University of East Anglia.

Brendan Wren, a professor of vaccinology on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, stated the Nevada case was the fifth confirmed instance of reinfection worldwide.

“The demonstration that it is possible to be reinfected by SARS-CoV-2 may suggest that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be totally protective,” he stated. “However, given the (more than) 40 million cases worldwide, these small examples of reinfection are tiny and should not deter efforts to develop vaccines.”

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic concurred that the U.S. case underlined what was unknown about immunity. “And this also really is an argument against what some have been advocating, and that’s building naturally what is called herd immunity. Because we don’t know,” he informed a briefing.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Additional reporting by Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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