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Nevada man reportedly first in U.S. to get COVID-19 twice

By Rich Barak, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News And Talk #local-all

A Nevada man has become the first person in the U.S. confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus for a second time, WMAZ reported, citing a study that was published in The Lancet. 

Scientists said evidence shows the 25-year-old man wasn’t having a relapse of the original infection, WMAZ reported, according to The Lancet study.

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The case study reinforces people who have contracted COVID-19 once may not necessarily be immune, WMAZ reported.

The 25-year-old man reportedly tested positive at a community testing event April 18 after showing symptoms associated with COVID-19, The Lancet reported in its study. The patient had no history of clinically significant underlying conditions, according to the study. He recovered nine days later, WMAZ reported.

The patient experienced severe symptoms again May 31 and went to urgent care. Five days later, he followed up with his doctor and went to the emergency room. He tested positive June 5 and again June 6. The man recovered from his second bout, WMAZ reported, citing the study.

“The second infection was symptomatically more severe than the first,” according to the study’s findings. It also found the genetic discordance in the first and second cases was too great for it to be a recurrence of the original infection, WMAZ reported. The man also tested negative twice between the infections — on May 9 and May 26 — the TV station reported.

“Thus, previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 might not guarantee total immunity in all cases,” the study authors wrote, according to WMAZ. They said anyone who has been infected with COVID-19 should still take precautions to avoid being infected again.

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The authors said the implications of reinfection could affect the development and application of a vaccine, WMAZ reported.

This is the fifth known case of reinfection worldwide, according to WMAZ. In one of those cases, in Ecuador, the patient also got sicker the second time. The other confirmed reinfection cases are from Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Belgium, the TV station reported.