A report by researchers at the University Hospital of the University of Hong Kong shows that the man is sick again 4.5 months after the first infection. According to the researchers, led by Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen, this proves that reinfection can take place after a few months of recovery. “Immunity after a natural infection can be short-lived.”
The virus material from the April man has been compared with the material from August. April’s, when he was first infected, turned out to be slightly different from August’s. The genetic tests thus showed that the virus is a variant of the previously acquired infection with Sars-CoV-2. “Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in humans.”
This does not mean that vaccination is unnecessary, according to one of the authors of the scientific article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. “The immunity induced by vaccination can be different from the immunity induced by natural infection.”
The virus was diagnosed in the man at the airport after he returned to Hong Kong from Spain. He had no symptoms, which researchers say may indicate that any “subsequent infections may be milder.”
According to epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization (WHO), it is still too early to draw conclusions from the research. “More than 24 million cases have been reported to date. We have to look at something like this at the population level. ”
More than six months after the arrival of the virus, not much is known about possible re-infections. The few reports of such cases have so far raised many questions, as the WHO also writes. There are no studies that monitor people for years after an infection.
Researchers believe, based on laboratory tests, that a corona infection can at least provide temporary protection against a new infection.