The findings of the study revealed that:
“The patient had two positive tests for SARS-CoV-2, the first on April 18, 2020, and the second on June 5, 2020, separated by two negative tests done during follow-up in May, 2020. Genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 showed genetically significant differences between each variant associated with each instance of infection. The second infection was symptomatically more severe than the first.”
The study suggests that if COVID-19 patients overcome the symptoms of the virus, not only can they become infected a second time (and perhaps more), but their symptoms may even worsen upon reinfection.
While this is a rare case, and data continues to emerge about it, the possibility for reinfection of COVID-19 has major implications for policy decisions throughout the world moving forward.
While Sweden may look like it has made it through the worst of the pandemic without implementing severe lockdowns, countries with more stringent social distancing policies like New Zealand may have the more ideal approach given the Lancet’s recent findings.