Hong Kong Reports First Known Reinfection

The first known COVID-19 reinfection has been reported in Hong Kong, underscoring big questions about immunity and whether an eventual vaccine may require booster shots, STAT reports.
 
The patient's 2 infections, which were 4+ months apart, came from different strains, according to the University of Hong Kong research. It has been accepted by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases but not yet published, meaning the data isn't yet available for full scrutiny, AP reports.
 
One Promising Element: The patient—a 33-year-old man—had no symptoms the second time around, which may suggest his immune system offered some protection from severe illness.
 
Outlier or Average Joe? While most people appear to mount a strong immune response to COVID-19 after an initial infection, it’s not known whether this patient exhibited a strong neutralizing antibody response (which blocks the virus from infecting cells), notes virologist Malik Peiris.

What’s next? WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove cautioned against jumping to conclusions from one case, Science reports: “We need to look at this at a population level.” 
 

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