Hong Kong scientists report that a healthy man in his 30s has become reinfected with Wuhan Coronavirus four and a half months after his first bout.

They say genome sequencing shows the two strains of the virus are “clearly different”, making it the world’s first proven case of reinfection.

The World Health Organization warns it is important not to jump to conclusions based on the case of one patient.

And experts say reinfections may be rare and not necessarily serious.

During his first bout with COVID-19 in March, the man suffered from cold/flu symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever and headache) for three days. Genetic tests indicate the strain of the second, more recent infection, was different from the first.

Then during his second episode, the patient was returning to Hong Kong from traveling in Spain via the United Kingdom, and he tested positive during his entry screening at the Hong Kong airport on August 15, the researchers said. The man was hospitalized again but remained asymptomatic.

“The patient got re-infected 4.5 months after the first infection. Therefore, it shows that for this patient, the immunity induced by the first infection is short lasting,” Dr. Kelvin Kai-Wang To of the University of Hong Kong, who worked on the study, said in an email to CNN.

For the study, researchers at the university and various hospitals in Hong Kong analyzed specimens collected from the patient 10 days after his symptoms emerged in the first episode and then one day after hospitalization for the second episode.

Genetic analysis suggested that the first infection was from a strain of the coronavirus most closely related to strains from the United States or England, and the second infection was most closely related to strains from Switzerland and England.

This case demonstrates that reinfection may result in milder or no symptoms upon a second infection, which is good news.

In other good news, the US is reporting the lowest number of new cases in two months.

The university’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering showed about 34,500 cases, nationally. That’s the fewest number of new cases since 30,500 on June 22.

The U.S. average over the previous six days was 44,000. There were about 450 coronavirus deaths on Sunday, the lowest figure in a week.

I have previously noted the troubling number of false positives. A private New Jersey laboratory contracted to handle coronavirus testing for multiple professional sporting leagues recently investigated dozens of false-positive diagnoses among NFL organizations over the weekend.

BioReference Laboratories launched an investigation after 77 tests returned inaccurate results and connected the problem to specimen preparation, one of four situations that can lead to false positives, Executive Chairman Jon Cohen said on CNBC Monday.

“We identified relatively quickly that the analyzers and the reagents were all fine,” he told Jim Cramer in a “Mad Money” interview, adding “we honed down pretty quickly that we knew it was specimen preparing issue at the very beginning.”

The NFL works with five labs across the country to handle coronavirus testing for its 32 franchises. BioReference is the only to have discovered false positives, which included players, coaches and staff from 11 clubs.

Finally, Kentucky Fried Chicken has decided to pause using its “finger lickin’ good” slogan because of the epidemic.

Several months after health officials recommended everyone stop touching their faces to help stop the spread of coronavirus, KFC said Monday that the 64-year-old slogan “doesn’t feel quite right.”

“We find ourselves in a unique situation — having an iconic slogan that doesn’t quite fit in the current environment,” said Catherine Tan-Gillespie, global chief marketing officer at KFC in a statement. The menu isn’t changing and the company said the slogan will return when the “time is right.”

 

 
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