At this point in the pandemic, you probably have either had the novel coronavirus or know someone who has. According to the WHO, the coronavirus has infected roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide.

It’s easy to think that if you have already been infected with the coronavirus you would develop immunity to it, but that may or may not be true. There is proof that people can become reinfected with COVID-19, and there is also proof that the second infection can be worse than the first one.

A 25-year-old man in Nevada developed symptoms of the coronavirus in March. He went to a community testing event and tested positive for COVID-19. This was April 18, 2020. He was able to make a full recovery in insolation at home, and he tested negative for the virus on May 9 and May 26.

Fast forward to June 5th, and the same man developed symptoms of COVID-19 again. This time, he went to this doctor and got tested. Since one of his symptoms this time included shortness of breath, he went to the hospital for treatment. 

He has since made a full recovery, but authors of this study warn, “All individuals, whether previously diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, should take identical precautions to avoid infection with SARS-CoV-2.”

In order to protect yourself from being infected with COVID-19, wash your hands, avoid crowded places, practice social distancing, wear a face mask, and make sure indoor locations are well-ventilated.

The man in Nevada is the first confirmed case of reinfection in the United States but not in the world. There has been a confirmed secondary reinfection in Belgium, Ecuador, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. All of these secondary cases have been more mild than the first except for the case in Ecuador which was more severe. In all of these cases, everyone made a full recovery.