A man, 33, tested positive for COVID-19 only four months after he recovered the first time – settling alarm bells ringing across the globe. The man, who has no underlying health conditions, was infected a second time by a different strain of the virus. People who recover from the virus do develop antibodies, providing immunity.
Doctors have said these findings show re-infection can occur only a few months after recovery – dashing hopes the disease could be wiped out as a result of herd immunity.
Following the case, a press release from the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong said: “The team showed the genome sequence of the virus strain in the first episode of Covid-19 infection is clearly different from the genome sequence of the virus strain found during the second episode of infection.
“This case illustrates that re-infection can occur after just a few months of recovery from the first infection.
“Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in the global human population as it is the case for other common-cold associated human coronaviruses.”
Experts in Hong Kong are concerned the virus can strike twice
10.02am update: Spain warned of effects of second lockdown
Businesses and health professionals have warned the government the country is still recovering from the first lockdown.
The infection rate in Spain is the highest in Europe, with a 14-day infection rate of 166 per 100,000.
The country’s business lobby, CEOE, said: “A new confinement that would paralyse business activity would have catastrophic and irreversible consequences.”
9.31am update: Man who thought COVID-19 was a hoax loses his wife to the virus
Brian Lee Hitchens and his wife, Erin, from Florida thoiught the virus was fabricated, linked to 5G or similar to the flu.
The couple didn’t follow health guidance or seek medical help when they fell ill in early May. Brian recovered but his wife became critically ill and died from heart problems linked to the virus.
Countries around the world are bracing themselves for a second wave of the virus
9.13am update: Qantas to shed thousands of staff and sell pyjamas to survive the pandemic
“This is the greatest challenge the aviation industry has ever faced and airlines have to change how they operate to ensure they can survive long-term,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas chief executive.
The airline started to sell kangaroo pyjamas to business class passengers, which it normally gives out for free.
The airline has grounded 220 of its aircrafts.
8.38am update: Dr Antony Fauci warns against rushing out vaccine
The virus expert has said a vaccine being rushed out too early could hurt the development of other vaccines.
President Donald Trump wants to see a vaccine as soon as possible to boost his chances of reelection in November.
Dr Fauci said: “One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enrol people in their trial.
“To me, it’s absolutely paramount that you definitively show that a vaccine is safe and effective.”
COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for
7.46am update: Re-infection of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Netherlands
Virologist Marion Koopmans said: “SARS-CoV-2 infections all have a different fingerprint, a genetic code.
“People can carry something with them for a long time after an infection and occasionally secrete a little RNA.
“Respiratory infections can strike twice, or more often. We know that you are not protected for life if you have had the infection and that is what we expect with Covid.”
Mr Koopmans said there was a clear immune response after an infection, but the question is how long it will last.
7.23am update: Southwark and Hackney have most COVID-19 cases in London
The infection rate has increased in 19 London boroughs
Hackney recorded the highest rate, with 56 new cases at a rate of 19.3 per 100,000.
Second highest is Southwark with 50 new cases and a rate of 15.7.