Pandemic phase two has begun.

Courtesy of ABC News

Earlier this week, the world was dealing head-on with what was believed to be the world’s first documented case of coronavirus reinfection in Hong Kong.

Now, less than a week later, researchers in the United States are reporting their first documented case of a patient who got COVID, recovered and then got it again.

Scientists say that although reinfection is likely possible, it’s also extremely rare. This is the first documented reinfection among nearly 6 million COVID-19 cases to date.

Nevertheless, the first documented reinfection is notable in how quickly the patient seemed to be reinfected after his initial recovery.

“Having had it doesn’t mean you can’t get it again, that’s what this shows,” Dr. Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory and co-author of the study, said in an interview with ABC’s “World News Tonight.” “It tells us possibly things we still don’t know about this virus … or that there is a danger that even if you’ve had it that your immune system may not protect you from a significant illness next time.”

The case report, which has not yet been peer-reviewed and is currently only available as a pre-print, tells the story of a 25-year-old man in Nevada. In late March, he developed some of the classic signs of COVID-19: sore throat, cough, diarrhea, headache and nausea. After testing positive on April 18, he began to gradually feel better, and the virus appeared to leave his system, seemingly verified with two consecutive negative tests in May.

But only a few weeks later, he started to feel ill again, testing positive for COVID-19 once again in June. This time, he was admitted to the hospital with serious symptoms.

You may remember that I expressed some optimism after that reinfection in Hong Kong because the person’s symptoms were mild the second time around. 

But with this guy getting even sicker I would say that all bets are off as to how bad reinfection might be, or how often they might occur. 

I swear that it seems the only news we ever get about this virus is always bad news.