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Bengaluru: First case of Covid-19 reinfection reported in private hospital

The case has been confirmed at Fortis Hospital situated at Bannerghatta Road in the city. Doctors at the hospital confirm the patient to be the "first case of Covid-19 reinfection" in the Karnataka capital.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bangalore |
Updated: September 7, 2020 8:23:34 am
Bengaluru: Health workers collects sample from a person for COVID-19 test via Rapid Antigen Testing in a slum area in Bengaluru, Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

In possibly the first case of Covid-19 reinfection in Bengaluru, a 27-year-old woman who recovered from the infection has contracted the virus again, in the span of a month, a private hospital said.

The case has been confirmed at Fortis Hospital in Bannerghatta Road. Doctors at the hospital confirmed the patient to be the “first case of Covid-19 reinfection” in the Karnataka capital.

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According to the team of experts in the Department of Infectious Diseases in the hospital, the woman, who had no comorbidities, tested positive for Covid-19 for the first time in July. She had developed mild symptoms of fever and cough. The patient had, however, “recovered well” and was “discharged successfully” after testing negative for the viral infection, the team clarified.

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Dr Pratik Patil, consultant, Infectious Diseases, at the hospital said the patient was discharged on July 24. “However, nearly after a month, in the last week of August, she developed mild symptoms again and has tested positive again,” he said. “This is possibly the first reported case of Covid-19 reinfection in Bengaluru,” Dr Patil stated.

“Normally, in case of infection, the Covid Immunoglobulin G antibody is tested positive after 2-3 weeks of infection. However, in this patient, the antibody has been tested negative, which means she did not develop immunity after infection,” he further said.

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“Another possibility is that the IgG antibodies disappeared in nearly one month leaving her susceptible to reinfection. Reinfection cases mean that the antibodies may not be produced by every individual or if they do develop, they may not last long enough, allowing the virus to enter the body and cause the disease again,” Dr Patil further said.

However, Dr Giridhar R Babu, professor and head of life course epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), told that the first reinfection occurred after 3.8 lakh confirmed cases. “It has come to notice only after 3.8 lakh confirmed cases. It will remain to be rare. The good news is that the second infection, is less severe than first,” he said.

When asked whether such relapses held any common trait among patients, he clarified, “It is difficult to establish the reinfection. Only more studies in the future can tell about the extent of reinfections.”

The confirmation of a relapse case in Bengaluru comes at a time when the city has 41,479 active cases (as on September 6), which amounts to over 40 per cent of the active cases across 30 districts of the state.

Meanwhile, Karnataka has witnessed a cumulative 3.89 lakh Covid-19 cases since the first case was reported in Bengaluru on March 8. To date, as per statistics issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, 6298 people have succumbed to the infection. 2125 of these have been confirmed in Bengaluru alone.

In a similar instance, the recurrence of coronavirus infection was confirmed in a 50-year-old policeman in Delhi earlier in July. The policeman had first tested positive in May, but had no symptoms.

Two days later, another case of Covid-19 relapse was confirmed in a health worker in Jalpaiguri of West Bengal, after which three more such cases were detected in north Bengal.

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