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Bengaluru woman tests positive for COVID-19 again in month. Representative image.
Bengaluru woman tests positive for COVID-19 again in month. Representative image.

COVID-19 reinfection: Bengaluru woman tests positive for coronavirus again in a month

  • This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection in Bengaluru, the Fortis Hospital said
  • World's first COVID-19 reinfection was reported in Hong Kong on August 24

A woman was infected with the coronavirus after recovering from an initial bout in July in what doctors claimed to be the first case showing that re-infection may occur within a few months.

The 27-year-old woman from Bengaluru has tested positive again nearly a month after she was treated and discharged from hospital, Fortis Hospital confirmed on Sunday. This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection in Bengaluru, the Fortis Hospital said.

Dr Pratik Patil, consultant, infectious diseases, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, said, "In the first week of July, the patient was symptomatic (fever, cough and sore throat) and was tested positive. She was admitted to the hospital and recovered well."

"A repeat test was conducted on her, which turned out to be negative, post which she was discharged on July 24. However, nearly after one month, in the last week of August, she developed mild symptoms again and has been tested positive again. Both times she did not have severe disease," he added.

"This is possibly the first reported case of COVID reinfection in Bengaluru. Normally, in case of infection, the COVID Immunoglobulin G antibody is tested positive after 2-3 weeks of infection, however in this patient, the antibody has been tested negative, which means she did not develop immunity after infection," Patil said

World's first COVID-19 reinfection was reported in Hong Kong on August 24. Telangana health minister Eatala Rajender earlier said there were two cases of coronavirus reinfection in the state. Two days ago, a doctor in Mumbai tested positive for the second time after a gap of two months.

Indian Council of Medical Research earlier said there is "no need to be alarmed immensely" over the reinfection case of COVID-19 reported in Hong Kong, but at the same time maintained that it is not yet known how long the immunity lasts in case of coronavirus.

"We have read with interest the reports of reinfection in one case in Hong Kong. We are learning more and more about the disease as we go ahead. It can depend on several factors, one can be related to the patient itself, how is his immunity, how was his immune status, was it compromised. It can also depend upon the virus, whether the virus has mutated or turned virulent," said ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava.

"We need to find out how long the immunity lasts. We need to closely follow it up, but at the same time we don't need to be alarmed immensely about it," Bhargava added.

Health experts generally believe people who had COVID-19 will have some immunity against a repeat infection. But they don't know how much protection, or how long it would last. This is important because if immunity wears off, it could pose a challenge for vaccines. Some experts say booster shots may be needed.

India’s COVID-19 tally of cases went past 41 lakh with a record 90,632 people being infected in a day, according to the data released by Union health ministry. The total number of coronavirus cases mounted to 41,13,811, while the death toll climbed to 70,626.

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