Story at a glance
- Officials in Osaka say a tour bus guide tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time.
- There have been a number of reported cases of reinfection in China.
- Japan’s prime minister has asked schools to close in an effort to curb the outbreak.
Japan is reporting a potential case of a patient becoming reinfected with the coronavirus after showing signs of a full recovery, according to Reuters.
Osaka’s prefectural government said a woman working as a tour bus guide tested positive for coronavirus for the second time after developing a sore throat and chest pain. The woman, who is said to be in her 40s, first tested positive in late January and was discharged from the hospital on Feb. 1 after showing signs of recovery.
Reuters reports Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the government will monitor the condition of others who were infected and later discharged as health experts investigate testing positive for COVID-19 after an initial recovery.
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But some health officials argue with these conclusions, saying they may be the result of relapses or errors in testing. America's top infectious disease fighter, Dr. Anthony Fauci, thinks it’s likely that someone who gets infected once is actually immune.
As so much remains unknown about the virus, reports of reinfection have health experts worried that the illness could remain dormant after an apparent recovery.
“Once you have the infection, it could remain dormant with minimal symptoms,” Philip Tierno Jr., professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University, told Reuters. “And then you can get an exacerbation if it finds its way into the lungs.”
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