Health officials in South Africa have confirmed they are investigating the case of a woman who was infected with COVID-19 and given the all-clear before then being found to be apparently reinfected almost four months later.
Notification of the apparent reinfection was made by GP Dr Yuvan Maharaj in the South African city of Durban in the country’s KwaZulu-Natal province.
In a video he posted online warning people about the woman being reinfected he said: “This means that immunity is not guaranteed after you have had the virus, so please do not take it for granted.”
In an interview with Newsflash he said that the woman had tested positive on 9th March, and then been given the all-clear two weeks later, but had returned another positive result on 14th July.
He said: “I first spoke to her in March where she feared that she might have picked up the virus while travelling to a North African country and exhibited flu-like symptoms.
“I advised her to get a test done and two days later the result came back to say she was positive. She was able to self isolate and was given supplements to boost her immune system. She was tested two weeks later and that was negative.”
But on 10th July, she had returned again over concerns that some of her colleagues had tested positive and that she seemed to have the same symptoms, and the medic said he advised her to test again on 14th July which, to his surprise, returned another positive result.
He added that he believed it was the first case of an apparent reinfection in the country, and added that he had notified the country’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) which confirmed in a conversation with Newsflash that they are monitoring the case.
Dr Maharaj said he was aware that in China there had been reinfections of people who are mostly asymptomatic but who were capable of infecting others, but said he had not heard of this happening outside of China.
The NICD declined to speculate, saying it was still too early to comment on the case, but confirmed that they were monitoring the situation.
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Story By: Sofija Dizdarevik, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Newsflash
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