KARACHI: Doctors and pathologists working in various health facilities in Karachi have claimed that some people are not only reinfected with COVID-19 in the city but also have “very severe symptoms” a second time, saying that new cases of the coronavirus are starting increased. in the metropolis for the past week.
Advising people, especially elderly patients who have contracted COVID-19 in Pakistan, to continue to take precautions in public, they said on Thursday some people reinfected with the virus had very severe symptoms compared to those who were first infected. . infection. But they added that reinfection of respiratory disease is not uncommon.
“I have personally seen three to four cases of Covid-19 reinfection at Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), which came with severe symptoms,” said Dr Saeed Khan, a professor and chief of molecular pathology at Dow University, while speaking with The News.
He claims that the phenomenon of reinfection is being observed all over the world, and now doctors and experts working on the Corona virus cases in Karachi are also witnessing the cases. They said people infected with the disease had “short-lived” antibodies, while some people lacked antibodies despite being infected with the coronavirus, a fact confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.
“Reinfection is not a widespread phenomenon here in Karachi, but doctors at different hospitals in the city saw one or two patients with COVID-19 reinfection. We haven’t seen any deaths after reinfection, but some patients have been observed with severe symptoms, requiring admission care and even life support after reinfection, ”said Dr Khan.
Another senior pathologist and health expert, Dr Zeeshan Ansari, said he had seen patients reinfected with COVID-19, and the second infection was very severe, requiring hospitalization and oxygen therapy in a tertiary care health facility. .
“One of my relatives, a young patient, tested positive for COVID-19 several months ago and remained in isolation at his residence for over a month until he tested negative. Upon seeing the negative reports of COVID-19, he was allowed to rejoin his office. A few weeks ago, the man who is a resident of Landhi was sick again with severe symptoms, and when he tested positive again, “he said.
But Dr Ansari stated that COVID-19 reinfection is still a phenomenon “under investigation”, and that authorities should carry out research to determine whether people have started being reinfected with the coronavirus. He added that theoretically, despite getting vaccinated against a different virus, people could be reinfected with the virus in their lifetime.
“Viral reinfection, especially those that cause respiratory disease, is not uncommon. That has happened to the case of MERS, SARS and other members of the coronavirus family and this can also happen with SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19), ”added Dr. Ansari.
Another health doctor, Dr Harris Hassan Qureshi, who is associated with the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Karachi, posted a video message on his Facebook wall, advising people to take precautions, especially those who have contracted the infection previously. . He said people were starting to get reinfected with COVID-19 around the world, including Pakistan.
“I have friends in various hospitals in Pakistan and abroad, and they have told us about the Covid-19 re-infection case. It’s not a widespread phenomenon, but people are re-infected with this virus, which has also been proven internationally, ”he said while speaking to The News.
Dr Qureshi said many hospitals had also reported cases of COVID-19 reinfection with severe symptoms. He added that the antibodies are short-lived and provide no protection against the virus for more than three to four months, and in some cases, no more than a few weeks.
On the other hand, leading hematologist and immune system specialist Dr Tahir Shamsi said reinfection with COVID-19 was “not a very common phenomenon” as almost no 25 to 50 people worldwide will contract the infection with the coronavirus. coronavirus again. He added that there is a possibility of reinfection with COVID-19.
“The SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is a type of virus called an RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) virus which changes shape. These viruses, especially those that cause respiratory disease, can re-infect people because the initial infection does not provide lifelong immunity. But in the case of COVID-19, we have not seen the phenomenon of reinfection that is widespread anywhere, including in Pakistan, “added Prof. Shamsi.