Reinfection of COVID-19 in a young man from Nevada, the USA! The second infection was more severe than the first infection!

COVID-19 is one big mystery for everyone! It has been more than 10 months that the deadly virus has been plaguing humans. But information on it is still limited. Initially, it was thought that the virus would not reinfect a person. But there are isolated cases of reinfection reported from the world that point to the fact that a person can get reinfected with the virus. This means that the immunity developed after the viral attack will not be protective for long. The Lancet has reported a case wherein a man of age 25 got a second infection with the virus. But the second attack was severe and he needed a hospital stay for it. Luckily, he has overcome it and recovered even from the second attack.

Reinfection in a Nevada man

The Lancet has published a case report of a 25-year-old man from Nevada in the USA. He first got COVID-19 infection in March 2020. In April, he had a positive test and the same month, his symptoms also resolved. By May 2020, the man was completely virus-free.

Reinfection in COVID-19 is rare but possible [Source: Al Jazeera]
But at the end of May 2020, the man again gets symptoms similar to that of a COVID-19 infection. This time, he had severe hypoxia and needed oxygen therapy. His lungs suffered badly and he took time to come out of the second infection. But now, he has luckily recovered.

The course of the man’s illness

  • 25 March 2020- The man had  symptoms, that included sore throat, cough, headache, nausea, and diarrhoea
  • 18 April 2020- His test for COVID-19 came back positive for the first time
  • 27 April 2020- He recovers and his symptoms subside
  • 9 and 26 May 2020- He is tested for COVID-19 and on both occasions, his reports come negative for the virus.
  • 28 May 2020- The man developed symptoms again, this time also he had a fever, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea and diarrhoea
  • 5 June 2020- He tests positive for the second time for COVID-19 and gets hypoxic (low blood oxygen) with shortness of breath.
COVID-19 reinfection [Source: CGTN]

Explanation of the disease course

Scientists feel that the person got the infection the second time. It was not the same infection that remained dormant for a while and later showed reactivation. The genetic analysis of the virus revealed that it was different on both occasions. Dr Mark Pandori, University of Nevada said:

“Our findings signal that a previous infection may not necessarily protect against future infection,”

“The possibility of reinfections could have significant implications for our understanding of Covid-19 immunity.”

Coronavirus [Source: Hospimedica]
Mark stressed that even patients who have recovered should continue to follow social distancing, hand washing, and wearing of face masks since the first infection would not protect them from subsequent infection. People who have got infection once should not become lax and continue to follow the general measures to ward off the deadly virus.

There are a lot of lacunae in our knowledge about immunity and COVID-19. But reinfections are rare and out of the more than 37 million cases worldwide, only a few cases of reinfection have been noted.

Reinfection noted from Hong Kong, Belgium, and the Netherlands revealed that the second infection was not more serious than the first infection. Another case reported from Ecuador revealed that the second infection was more serious but did not need hospitalization. The answer to all this is yet far from known.

Also, read WHO: A doctor states that lockdowns are not the primary means to curb the spread of coronavirus!