Scientists say that a Guayaquil man is the first person in South America to be infected twice with the Covid-19 virus. Researchers confirmed the reinfection following analysis of the man’s blood at the Institute of Microbiology at San Francisco de Quito University.
“The patient tested positive in May with mild symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2. virus, underwent quarantine and tested negative in early June,” a spokeswoman for the institute said. “Then in August, he again reported mild symptoms and tested positive for the second time.”
The man’s doctor says that the man tested negative on Monday and is in good health.
“The case should not cause excessive alarm,” says Juan José Guadalupe, a researcher at the institute sand in an interview with the website Medical Edition. “In some cases, the first infection may not produce an efficient immune response to prevent a second infection and although this is very rare, it is always a possitibility.”
Guadalupe added: “There have been suspected cases in the Netherlands, Belgium, the U.S. and Hong Kong but not all of these have been confirmed.”
Ecuador’s Ministry of Health says additional study is needed to confirm if the case is, in fact, one of reinfection. “We don’t deny the San Francisco results but would like to get a second opinion,” a ministry spokesman said.