Though uncommon, it is feasible that people who have recovered from Covid-19 may very well be reinfected, as a latest Hong Kong examine suggests, the World Health Organization mentioned Wednesday.
On Monday, researchers launched a examine that discovered what seems to be the first documented case of Covid-19 reinfection, in a 33-year-old man. The man was first contaminated in late March after which again roughly 4½ months later, in accordance to STAT News.
“It doesn’t mean that it’s happening a lot; we know that it’s possible,” Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s rising ailments and zoonosis unit, mentioned throughout a stay Q&A session. “It is something that we knew could be possible based on our experience with other human coronaviruses.”
While a lot remains to be unknown about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, researchers do know that people who are contaminated develop some antibody response in opposition to the illness as soon as they get better. However, researchers do not but know the way lengthy that immunity lasts, Van Kerkhove mentioned.
The Hong Kong case can also be not believed to be the solely time somebody has been contaminated with the coronavirus twice, although it’s the first documented case, she added.
“This is one example out of 23.5 million cases so far, but we expect that people who are infected do develop an antibody response, they do develop an immune response that lasts for some time, so we’re learning,” she mentioned.
Van Kerkhove reiterated that whether or not somebody has been contaminated or not, they need to proceed following recommended social distancing pointers, carrying face coverings and following different really helpful well being precautions.
“Yes, it’s possible that we could start to see reinfection, but you know we have the tools in place that can prevent people from getting infected,” Van Kerkhove mentioned.
The examine additionally would not change the progress being made towards a coronavirus vaccine, Van Kerkhove added. More data about how the physique responds to a possible vaccine shall be found by medical trials, that are ongoing, she mentioned.
“People think, ‘Oh, this means a vaccine won’t work.’ That’s not what this means,” she mentioned. “We’re still developing vaccines, and there’s incredible progress being made on this.”