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First cases of reinfection confirmed in Brazil

On December 9, Brazil’s health authorities officially confirmed the country’s first proven reinfection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A 37-year-old doctor living in the state of Rio Grande do Norte contracted the virus twice with an interval of 116 days. The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) conducted PCR tests (which detect an active infection), and two were positive: the first in June and the second in October. Between one positive test and the other, there was also a negative result. On December 16, the São Paulo state government confirmed a second case of reinfection: a 41-year-old woman living in the town of Fernandópolis. She had COVID-19 in June and again in November, according to analysis by the Adolfo Lutz Institute. Reinfection by the novel coronavirus still appears to be rare, but it is certainly possible (see Pesquisa FAPESP issue no. 297). The first occurrence in the world was confirmed on August 15 in Hong Kong. In Brazil, the first suspected case occurred in June, but there was no way of officially confirming it. As of mid-October, almost one hundred cases are under investigation in the country.