The first case of reinfection has been reported in Hong Kong.
A healthy man in his 30s became reinfected with coronavirus four and a half months after he contracted the virus first time.
Scientists have declared it the world’s first proven case of reinfection. They say genome sequencing shows the two strains are clearly different.
Experts say that the reinfections may not be necessarily serious and may be rare.
However, the World Health Organization has warned not to jump to conclusions composed of the case of one patient.
A report by the University of Hong Kong mentioned that the patient had spent two weeks in hospital before recovering. However, he contracted the virus for the second time despite having no symptoms.
Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that this is the very rare case of reinfection.
“And it should not negate the global drive to develop Covid-19 vaccines.
“It is to be expected that the virus will naturally mutate over time.”
Dr. Jeffrey Barrett, the senior scientific consultant for the Covid-19 genome project at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: “Given the number of global infections to date, seeing one case of reinfection is not that surprising even if it is a very rare occurrence.
“It may be that second infections, when they do occur, are not serious – though we don’t know whether this person was infectious during their second episode.”
Prof Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia, said more information about this and other cases of reinfection was needed “before we can really understand the implications”.