A second infection can occur after a period of recovery from an earlier infection caused by the same pathogen.

Cases of reinfection in people who recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection are rare and few have been reported since April 2020.

The first confirmed case of reinfection was in a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong. Diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26, he was hospitalized and discharged following recovery. He tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 again five months later. The virus samples from the first and second infections were genetically different suggesting the virus mutated.

Although most people who have been infected develop protective antibodies, it is still unknown how long they last in the human body and whether they protect against reinfection. There have been reports of death after reinfection.


Infectious Disease