A considerable number of people in Ho Chi Minh City have tested positive for COVID-19 just a few months after recovering from the respiratory disease, with many of these patients having already received their booster shots.
D.T., a 29-year-old resident, said he had contracted COVID-19 in December.
However, he recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus for a second time after having a sore throat for about three days.
T. added that he had already received three vaccine doses.
He is currently quarantining at home and his only symptom is a cough.
“I thought I had enough protection against COVID-19 given that I had already been infected and received a booster dose,” T. stated.
K.O., 25, who lives in Thu Duc City, first went down with COVID-19 in mid-November 2021.
O. traveled to Hanoi on a business trip on February 10 and started having a sore throat and runny nose after returning to Ho Chi Minh City on February 16.
“At first, I thought it was because of the cold weather in Hanoi, but I decided to take a rapid test to be sure, and the result came back positive,” he elaborated.
O. then took a real-time RT-PCR test and got the same result.
“I’m not suffering from a loss of smell and taste this time around, but I feel much more fatigued,” he said.
He was also surprised that he could get reinfected with the virus so quickly.
Dr. Tran Thi Tuyet Lan at the Ho Chi Minh City Heart Institute said she also knows of several patients who have been reinfected with the novel coronavirus.
Global medical studies show that people can catch COVID-19 several times, given that an infection does not produce life-long immunity, Lan explained.
Statistics in the U.S. indicate that about seven to 23 percent of recovered COVID-19 patients become reinfected, according to Hoang Thanh Tuan, a military doctor charged with treating coronavirus cases.
The average time a person tests positive for the virus for a second time is about 70 days after their first infection.
The statistics also show that people are likely to have milder symptoms after contracting the virus for a second time, Tuan continued.
The exact rate of COVID-19 reinfection in Vietnam has not been calculated, but many cases have been recorded recently, the doctor stated.
Treatment during reinfection should be the same as during the first-time infection.
Those with milder conditions can simply take medicine to control their symptoms, he added.
Meanwhile, Do Van Dung, a lecturer at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, stressed that people should strictly follow prevention and control measures to avoid reinfection in order to protect their health as well as that of those around them.
Elderly people with underlying medical conditions who get reinfected are at higher risk of more serious illness, Dung warned.
Ho Chi Minh City has recorded over 526,000 local infections since the fourth virus wave hit the country last April.
A week-long random screening recently conducted by health authorities discovered that the Omicron coronavirus variant is dominating new infections in the southern Vietnamese city.