İrem UZUN -TDO- The first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection has been confirmed by researchers in Hong Kong, suggesting that immunity in some may only last for several months. “An apparently young and healthy patient had a second case of COVID-19 infection which was diagnosed 4.5 months after the first episode,” University of Hong Kong researchers said in a statement issued Monday.

According to the Japan Times, the 33-year-old’s second SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected via airport screening on his return to Hong Kong from Europe this month. Researchers at the University of Hong Kong used genomic sequence analysis to prove that he had been infected by two different strains. The information technology worker didn’t develop any symptoms from his second infection, which might indicate any “subsequent infections may be milder,” the researchers said. “Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in humans,” Kwok-Yung Yuen and colleagues said Monday in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The findings are reminiscent of the coronaviruses that cause the common cold and suggest SARS-CoV-2 may continue to circulate “even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection or via vaccination,” they said.

With the nine new infections, the city’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 4,691, with 77 related deaths. “The outbreak is not entirely under control yet,” Dr. Chuang Shukkwan of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said when asked if it was time to relax social-distancing measures. Chuang said any relaxation on a public point of view could result in an increase in the number of infections.

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