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Korea reports suspected case of COVID-19 reinfection

Posted September. 21, 2020 07:36,   

Updated September. 21, 2020 07:36


South Korea reported the first suspected case of COVID-19 reinfection. Reinfection is different from cases where viruses become active again after treatment. If the case is confirmed as reinfection, it would mean the antibody for COVID-19 is not effective and would inevitably affect development of vaccine or management of those who recovered from the virus.

According to the Central Disease Control Headquarters (CDCH), a woman in her 20s who contracted the virus in March tested positive again in early April. “We found genotype variations in her case,” said the CDCH. It means genotypes were different in the first and the second infection. It seems that she was infected with a virus with a new genotype through different routes.

The number of patients who tested positive again after recovery was 628 as of September 8, quarantine authorities reported. But authorities say that they are not reinfection cases but dead virus fragments that became active again due to deteriorated immunity.

The number of new COVID-19 cases were 82 as of 12:00 a.m. Sunday. The Seoul metropolitan area had 55 new cases, which made the number of cumulative cases exceed 10,000. But 27.4 percent of confirmed cases have unclear infection routes for the past two weeks from September 7 to 20. The government has decided to extend the Level 2 social distancing issued in rural areas until Sunday.

Sang-Un Kim sukim@donga.com