While clinical trials are pointing out that vaccines under development are promising to protect us from Covid-19, bad news comes from Hong Kong.
The region was able to prove that reinfection by the disease is possible. That’s because a 33-year-old man, diagnosed earlier in the year with Covid-19, tested positive again. And a detailed medical procedure to “unravel” the virus shows that it has indeed been infected a second time.
When he received his first diagnosis four and a half months ago, researchers tested the virus’s genetic code in the patient’s body. This was done again with this second episode of infection, and it was discovered that the genetic code this time belongs to a different strain of the agent.
Thus, Hong Kong proved that this was not a case of “relapse” of the same infection, which is possible since viruses can mutate in the body over time.
The first time he was infected, the man had mild symptoms, and in this second episode he is asymptomatic.
WHO seems to be surprised by the information, and has merely commented that it is indeed possible. The World Health Organization, however, points out that this is the first time that this has been confirmed, in a universe of more than 24 million people already infected in the world. The organization also points out that this sequencing work done in Hong Kong is rare, which may influence this number of records of reinfections.
Science still tries to figure out what kind of immunity an infected person develops after being cured. With this episode, there are signs that the immune window may be very short, less than six months in some cases, which would facilitate new waves of contagion of the disease.