The first documented case of coronovirus reinfection in North America occurred Monday in a 25-year-old Nevada man.
Researchers at the University of Nevada said that the level of immunity from infection is unknown, and therefore coronovirus re-creation is “not well understood.”
The findings, published in The Lancet Infectious Disease, have described two positive nasal swab tests for SARS-CoV-2 to a Warsaw County resident, the virus causing COVID-19 disease. He first tested positive in a community testing program on 18 April, and then on 5 June with a more serious case requiring hospitalization, and then two negative tests.
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The patient began to show symptoms on March 25, as reported, including cough, nausea, headache, fever, and diarrhea. There was no history of underlying conditions or immunocompromise. The symptoms returned on May 28, and the man was hospitalized on June 5 due to hypoxia and shortness of breath. He was on oxygen support and X-rays of the chest showed signs of bilateral viral pneumonia.
Analysis of swab samples revealed a “genetically significant difference”, which suggested that the man was infected by variant strains at two different instances. The study authors wrote, “Previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 may not guarantee total immunity in all cases.”
The patient gave written permission to publish the report.
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Researchers noted that there have been other cases of revision in Hong Kong, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ecuador, though only a more serious second case has been reported in Ecuador, the researchers noted.
“The mechanism may be responsible for a more serious secondary infection than can only be speculated,” the study authors wrote, speculating that it was a higher dose or more virulent version of the virus, among other speculations.
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“It is possible that we have reported cases of persistent inactivity and infections entering the reactivation,” the authors continued. “However, for such a hypothesis to be true, a reciprocal rate of SARS-CoV-2 would be required that has not yet been recorded.”
The authors stated that the findings may have vaccination implications.
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