Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Scientists Confirm Nevada Man Was Infected Twice With Coronavirus

A health care worker tests a patient for the coronavirus in Nevada in July. Scientists say a 25-year-old Nevada man was infected with the virus twice. It is the first confirmed case of reinfection in the U.S. John Locher/AP

Rebecca Hersher
NPR News

A 25-year-old was infected twice with the coronavirus earlier this year, scientists in Nevada have confirmed. It is the first confirmed case of so-called reinfection with the virus in the U.S. and the fifth confirmed reinfection case worldwide.

The cases underscore the importance of social distancing and wearing masks even if you were previously infected with the virus, and they raise questions about how the human immune system reacts to the virus.

The two infections in the Nevada patient occurred about six weeks apart, according to a case study published Monday in the medical journal The Lancet. The patient originally tested positive for the virus in April and had symptoms including a cough and nausea. He recovered and tested negative for the virus in May.

But at the end of May, he went to an urgent care center with symptoms including fever, cough and dizziness. In early June, he tested positive again and ended up in the hospital.

"The second infection was symptomatically more severe than the first," the authors of the study write. The patient survived his second bout with COVID-19.  Read more >>