Coronavirus re-infection is very rare: ICMR DG

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Representational Image

New Delhi, September 15 (ANI): The Indian Council of Medical Research DG Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday said that re-infection with coronavirus is very rare.

"Re-infection is very rare with COVID-19. We have seen re-infection occurs in case of measles and (if) someone gets measles, he needs to be protected all his life from measles even though he generates certain anti-bodies," Dr Bhargava said at a press conference. 

"Similarly, we can have re-infection in COVID-19 as it is being described by the case in Hong Kong. It is not a matter of concern. One point be noted that whenever re-infection occurs, earlier symptoms would have been mild, Dr Bhargava said.

A Hong Kong man, who recovered from COVID-19 was infected again four-and-a-half months later after the first infection in the first documented instance of human re-infection last month, researchers at the University of Hong Kong reported.

The expert group at Centre for Disease Control, US Department of Health, in its guidance note recently said that "re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been definitively confirmed in any recovered persons to date. If, and if so when, persons can be re-infected with the SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown and is a subject of investigation."

However, this does not mean that people once infected with the virus can be said to have developed immunity against re-infection, it said

In India over 38.5 lakh persons have recovered from COVID-19, one of the highest in the world, health ministry said on Tuesday.