In Hong Kong, new research confirms a man has contracted COVID-19 for the second time.
The New York Times reports immunity against COVID-19 may only last a few months. University of Hong Kong researchers issued a statement acknowledging that a patient who previously had the coronavirus has tested positive again.
“An apparently young and healthy patient had a second case of COVID-19 infection which was diagnosed 4.5 months after the first episode,” reads the statement according to the Times.
The man in question, a 33-year-old, had mild symptoms the first infection and none the second. He had recently returned from a trip to Spain and the new infection closely mirrored the strain spreading throughout Europe this summer.
According to the Times, doctors across the globe, including the United States, have reported reinfections, however, the Hong Kong study was the first fully backed by research. Scientists found differences in both sets of the virus in the patient, which suggests that the second positive test is not a lasting effect of the initial diagnosis.
Experts hoped the virus would follow SARS and MERS in behavior, where immunity lasts a few years.
“Our results prove that his second infection is caused by a new virus that he acquired recently rather than prolonged viral shedding,” said Dr. Kelvin Kai-Wang To, a clinical microbiologist to the NYT.
Scientists continue to work to understand COVID-19 and how the novel coronavirus works and heals. theGrio previously reported that according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, finds the virus can be just as harmful to young people as to elderly populations.
The pandemic also affects racial groups differently. Data shows that Black and brown communities are being ravished by the coronavirus at a proportionately much higher rate then their white neighbors.
According to theGrio, “Blacks and Latinx were hospitalized with the coronavirus at nearly five times the rate in comparison to white Americans. Native Americans were hospitalized at a rate of six times greater.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more commonly known as the CDC, report 5,682,491 total cases in the United States and 176,223 total deaths from COVID-19 as of Aug. 24, 2020.
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