India reports sporadic cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection

September 6, 2020 0 By FM

The city of Bengaluru confirmed the first case of COVID-19 reinfection on Sunday, making it the second place to report reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 in the country.

The 27-year-old woman from the southern Indian city who got recovered from an initial infection from SARS-CoV-2 in July, has tested positive again for the virus. The confirmation of the reinfection comes within a month after she was treated and discharged, Fortis Hospital said.

Two days ago, a doctor working at Mumbai’s Sion Hospital tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection for the second time.

The reinfected doctor works in the department of anaesthesia of the civic-run Sion Hospital. Reportedly, she didn’t have a severe disease both of the times.

This is the first recorded case of reinfection in Mumbai, India’s commercial hub and one of the country’s worst-hit cities by the pandemic. Two cases of COVID-19 reinfections were also reported in Telangana, reports said quoting the health minister of this southern Indian state.

On August 24, researchers from Hong Kong reported the case of a man who had been infected twice, in what is described as the world’s best documented case of reinfections so far. When the Hong Kong researchers sequenced the virus from both of the man’s infections, they found significant differences in the viral genome.

Close on the heels of the report came confirmations from two more such cases from Belgium and the Netherlands, sparking concerns about the emergence of a new variant of the lethal virus. Earlier in April, officials from South Korea reported 91 people who were thought of recovered from the infection tested positive again for the virus.

Japan and China too had reported instances of reinfection. But none of these cases have been confirmed with rigorous testing. People recovered from the infection may carry fragments of the virus for weeks. This can give positive test results in the absence of a live virus.

Even though reinfection within a short span of time is really a matter of great concern, there is nothing much to be alarmed yet as only a handful of cases have been identified till date despite over 23 million cases documented so far, epidemiologists say. One thing, however, is clear, they warn: we may be subject to repeat infection with SARS-CoV-2.