COVID-19 warrior Dr Faheem Younus on Monday rubbished reports which said that Bengaluru reported its first case of coronavirus reinfection and called it a 'false alarm'. While quoting a media report, Dr Younus said that reinfections can’t be diagnosed by antibody levels.
Taking to Twitter, Dr Faheem Younus wrote: "This is a FALSE ALARM. Reinfections can’t be diagnosed by antibody levels. No genomic analysis was done in this case. This - and many other such “reinfections” - are just unnecessary panic."
Younus is the Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health.
According to reports, a 27-year-old woman who had recovered from COVID-19 in July, tested positive again for the virus in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The case was reported by Fortis Hospital when the woman with no history of comorbidities got re-infected.
In a statement, Dr Pratik Patil, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Fortis Hospital, said, “In the first week of July, the patient was symptomatic (fever, cough and sore throat) and was tested positive. She was admitted at the hospital and recovered. A repeat test was conducted on her, which turned out to be negative, post which she was discharged on July 24. However, nearly after one month, in the last week of August, she developed mild symptoms again and has tested positive yet again.”
This is possibly the first reported case of COVID-19 reinfection. According to Pratik Patil, consultant for infectious diseases in the hospital, Covid immunoglobulin G antibodies test positive after two to three weeks of infection in normal cases. However, in this patient, the antibody has been tested negative, which means she did not develop immunity after infection, Patil said adding that another possibility is that the IgG antibodies disappeared in nearly one month leaving her susceptible for reinfection.