A 25-year-old man from Nevada was the first person in the United States to contract COVID-19 twice. He was the fifth person in the world to get reinfected with the coronavirus. A case study published in the medical journal The Lancet said that the man's second infection was worse than the first one.
The patient tested positive for the virus in April and suffered from mild symptoms, including a cough and nausea. He recovered a few weeks later and tested negative on two separate occasions in May. On May 28, two days after his last negative test, the man saw his symptoms return. He checked himself into an urgent care facility after developing a high fever, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea, and diarrhea.
He ended up in the hospital and tested positive for COVID-19 on June 5. He recovered and was released from the hospital.
Scientists said the genetic codes from each virus showed "significant differences," leading them to conclude that he was infected twice. The authors of the study noted that the case is concerning because it shows that not everybody becomes immune once they get sick.
"These findings suggest that the patient was infected by SARS-CoV-2 on two separate occasions by a genetically distinct virus. Thus, previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 might not guarantee total immunity in all cases," the authors of the study said.
They also stressed the importance of following social distancing guidelines and wearing masks, even if you have already recovered from COVID-19.
"All individuals, whether previously diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, should take identical precautions to avoid infection with SARS-CoV-2," they wrote.