Hong Kong

Hong Kong Man Was Reinfected by the Coronavirus, Researchers Say

The finding suggests that some patients who recover from COVID-19 may have only short-lived immunity from reinfection

A sanitation worker cleans the street in Mong Kok amid the coronavirus outbreak on August 16, 2020, in Hong Kong, China.
Photo by Li Zhihua/China News Service via Getty Images

A man in Hong Kong has become the first confirmed patient to be infected with the coronavirus a second time, according to researchers at the University of Hong Kong.

The finding suggests that some patients who recover from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, may have only short-lived immunity from reinfection. The case will likely also be significant for scientists who have been working on treatments using antibodies from recovered coronavirus patients, and those who have been scrambling to develop a safe and effective vaccine, though it’s too soon to draw any firm conclusions, NBC News reported.

But the research is not necessarily cause for panic. Reinfection is common with other coronaviruses. Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology at Yale University, tweeted shortly after the study was released that the study did not show anything unexpected.

"This is no cause for alarm - this is a textbook example of how immunity should work," she wrote.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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