SEATTLE — Physicians and scientists say genetic testing of a Seattle-area nursing home resident shows the man has been infected twice with the coronavirus.
The man first contracted COVID-19 in March and spent more than 40 days in the hospital. The man, who is in his 60s, wasn’t as sick the second time and has since recovered.
The testing revealed the illness caused by the coronavirus in July wasn’t a relapse but a new infection with a different variant of the virus. The Seattle Times reported that the patient is only the third person in the United States — and one of about 20 worldwide — confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 twice.
The team of Seattle scientists and doctors posted their findings in a preprint study in late September that has not been peer reviewed.
“It’s not unexpected this would occur, because we know immunity wanes to other respiratory infections, like flu,” said Dr. Jason Goldman, an infectious-disease specialist at Swedish Medical Center.
In January, Washington saw the country’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. Since then there have been more than 95,5000 confirmed cases in Washington and more than 2,200 deaths.