Oh man, I knew this was coming.
Courtesy of The Hill:
Researchers in Hong Kong said Monday that they have identified the first documented instance of someone being infected with coronavirus a second time.
The scientists at the University of Hong Kong said a patient got coronavirus a second time 4 1/2 months after the initial infection and that the genomic sequence of the virus strain for the first infection was different than that of the second.
“This case illustrates that reinfection can occur just after a few months of recovery from the first infection,” the researchers said in a press release. “Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in the global human population as is the case for other common-cold associated human coronaviruses, even if patients have have acquired immunity via natural infection.”
Some experts, though, said the news is not as bad as it sounds and that it is not cause for panic. For one thing, the patient did not have any symptoms in the second infection.
“This is interesting but not alarming,” tweeted Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.
“First, this appears to be rare,” he added. “Though we don’t go looking often enough so unclear. Second, person was asymptomatic during the re-infection. This is exactly what one would want to see with immunity — that you can pick up virus again but that it won’t cause serious illness.”
Okay, this may help to answer one of my questions about this virus, and that is whether or not second infections are more traumatic than the first time around.
I had worried that if the virus negatively impacted our immune systems that a second infection, or worse yet a third, might prove devastating or even fatal.
This, of course, is only one case so it is impossible to make too many assumptions, but it is still some good news.
Of course better news would be that this virus was a “one and done” and that nobody once infected would ever have to worry about it again.