Lancet coronavirus study explores risk of reinfection

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( — We have accepted or at least become used to the fact that there are more questions than answers regarding the novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2. How long can the virus survive on surfaces, for instance? What are the exact symptoms of COVID-19, the disease it causes? What are the chances that people can develop immunity if they survive the illness?

Each time a new study is published, we hope we will gain some fresh insights, however small. Now, a recent case study entitled “Genomic evidence for reinfection with SARS-CoV-2” published in the current issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases has looked at the chances of patients developing immunity in the light of the fifth documented case of reinfection.

After presenting their findings about a 25-year-old man from Washoe County in the US state of Nevada who tested positive for COVID-19 twice within a few months, the researchers write: “Further work is needed to assess immune reactions in vitro after reinfection.”

Not only does the study confirm that a person can be infected a second time within a short amount of time; it also found that symptoms could be considerably worse the second time. (…)

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