This Monday, the alleged case of a man in Bolívar who would have tested positive for coronavirus two months after being declared recovered due to a negative result emerged. Based on these data, the treating physician suggested that it could be the first confirmed case of reinfection in Colombia.
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However, according to infectologist Carlos Álvarez, coordinator of covid-19 studies in Colombia for the World Health Organization (WHO), the only way to reach this conclusion is showing that the two infections were caused by two viruses with different genetics.
Or in other words, Álvarez explains that the genetic material of the first and second molecular PCR tests is different.
Álvarez adds that the case requires review because some studies have shown that Remains of a virus can remain for several months and have variations compared to laboratory tracing. This without counting that tests are subject to false negatives or positives which are necessary to rule out before calling these cases as reinfections.
In any case, the infectologist Álvarez says that this case must be studied in depth and with scientific rigor.
For her part, Martha Ospina, director of the National Institute of Health (INS) confirms what Álvarez has said in the sense that without genotyping the viruses that prove that they are of different lineages You cannot make these claims.
Ospina explains that it can be treated “Simply of strands that remain and continue to mark positive.”
Until now, scientific evidence has managed to document cases of reinfections in patients in Hong Kong, Holland and Belgium, and there are some possible in the United States, Brazil and Ecuador, Although, as the World Health Organization (WHO) points out, they are only something exceptional among the 12.87 million infections that America has.
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On Friday, the news of a possible reinfection of Sars-CoV-2 in a 25-year-old man living in Reno (Nevada), the first detected in the United States. According to CBS News, this is a subject who tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time in mid-April and, after recovering, fell ill again at the end of May.
In the study, which is pending review for publication in The Lancet medical journal, it is detailed that there was an interval of 48 days between both infections.
Also in Brazil, the Hospital de las Cínicas of the city of Sao Paulo announced last week that they were investigating seven possible cases of reinfection. Suspected patients are undergoing “additional” clinical examinations after presenting symptoms and testing positive in diagnostic tests “in two different periods,” the hospital reported.
And on Saturday, the Institute of Microbiology of the San Francisco de Quito University (USFQ) detected the first case of coronavirus reinfection in Ecuador, in a patient who had tested positive for covid-19 in May and who was again infected with another strain of the same pathogen.
The Institute indicated that “it was the first confirmed case of reinfection of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of covid-19, in a patient of the Ecuadorian flag.”
“The genomes of the virus present in an Ecuadorian with covid-19 have been sequenced in May and again in August, showing that they are two different strains,” added the academic center.
The detection was made thanks to the PCR tests (Polymerase Chain Reaction, acronym in English) carried out on three different occasions on the same patient, the first in May (positive), the second in July (negative) and the third positive in August.
Last May, the patient had presented a “mild disease”, according to his symptoms, but in August he showed “moderate symptoms”, although in July he had a “negative PCR control, after having had the first infection,” he added. the Institute.
Additionally, it presented an “increase in IgG (antibodies that indicate that it has overcome the disease) against the virus in the second infection”, which opens the “possibility that there are people who do not have immunity (do not be afraid, this is expected) “added the Institute of Microbiology.
He also pointed out that “the two strains belong to different genetic groups” and that “they have mutations at different sites, showing that they are different.”
* With information from EFE