(ECNS)-- The relapsed infectee is in stable condition and has generated antigens shortly after being hospitalized, Dr Hung Fan Ngai,Chief of Infectious Diseases Division and Assistant Dean of the Department of Medicine at University of Hong Kong told China News Service.
The 33-year-old tested positive for the virus in early August after a trip to Europe, about four months after he was cured of the first infection. He showed mild symptoms during the first contraction and none during the second.
The patient is now under treatment at the AsiaWorld-Expo temporary hospital where he developed antigens within about five days, according to Dr. Hung.
Genome sequencing by scientists at the University of Hong Kong showed his second infection was caused by a new virus that matches the strain circulating in Europe,which is different from what caused his first contraction.
The case is rare but not unique, as similar reinfections have also been reported in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Dr. Hung said the possibility of virus mutations and the appearance of reinfections bring new challenges for vaccine researches, but it doesn't mean that the current efforts to develop vaccines are in vain. He also revealed that vaccines developed by Hong Kong institutions are hopeful to enter phase I trials this November.