The scientific journal “The Lancet” published new information Monday about the Nevada man who contracted COVID-19 twice, and warned that even those who have recovered from the virus need to take precautions.
The 25-year-old patient had no known immune disorders or underlying conditions when he tested positive for the virus in April and again in June, according to the study. The patient was hospitalized during his second infection with severe symptoms, including dizziness, cough, nausea, and diarrhea.
He was released from the hospital and has since recovered, according to the journal.
Mark Pandori of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, the lead author of the study, said in a statement that while more research is needed, the data indicates that patients who recovered from an infection should still heed health warnings, such as avoiding crowds, wearing a mask and washing their hands.
“There are still many unknowns about SARS-CoV-2 infections and the immune system’s response, but our findings signal that a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection may not necessarily protect against future infection,” he said in a statement.
Experts say that people who recover from COVID-19 will likely have some form of immunity, but it’s not clear if everyone develops immunity, or how long that immunity might last.
Reinfections are rare. The Nevada man is the only reported case in the U.S. so far of a patient contracting the virus twice. Four other cases of reinfection have been reported in Belgium, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Ecuador, according to the journal.
“So far, we’ve only seen a handful of reinfection cases, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more, especially as many cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic,” Pandori said.
-ABC News’ Sony Salzman contributed to this report.