By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Last month, officials with the Gorgas Institute in Panama identified the first person with COVID-19 reinfection.

Panama map/CIA

“We have already reported the first case of reinfection confirmed at the molecular level, in a 36-year-old subject who presented a mild picture of COVID-19 in June and later in December presented another picture much milder than the first. Luckily we were able to keep both samples in good condition and the genetic analysis was carried out, the two complete viruses were sequenced and a reasonable difference between the two was observed to classify it as a reinfection ”according to Dr. Juan Miguel Pascale.

Dr. Alexander Martínez explained that in order to confirm that it is a reinfection, it must be ensured that the virus with which the person was infected for the first time has a difference from the second virus with which it was infected, that is, changes enough in your genome. It was observed in this subject that between the first virus and the second, there are more than 20 nucleotide changes, 10 of them are found in the surface protein, thus achieving confirmation of the case of reinfection.


Dr. Sandra López assured that with this second virus that is already under analysis, it will be possible to determine how it behaves, that is, if it infects cells better, if it replicates faster or if it escapes the antibody response when people they are infected with the other viruses that are already circulating in the country.

Dr. Pascale states that there are currently around 20 probable cases of reinfection. These cases appear to meet the requirements to be considered as reinfection but are still being analyzed.

Regarding whether people who have been infected should be vaccinated: “Definitely people who have had COVID-19 should be vaccinated to guarantee a more complete protection for the future and avoid reinfections, since it has been proven that people who have been infected and the vaccine is given, they develop a more robust immune response, ”said Dr. Pascale.


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