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Uki Goñi reports for the Guardian from Argentina:

A 34-year-old doctor in Argentina is the country’s first confirmed case of someone who, after having recovered from Covid-19, fell ill with the virus a second time four months later.

On Monday, a Hong Kong man who recovered from Covid-19 was infected again four-and-a-half months later in what researchers at the University of Hong Kong said was the first documented instance of human re-infection.

In Argentina, Alejandra Müller, a hospital director in the town of Helvecia in the central province of Santa Fe, was first diagnosed with Covid-19 on 24 March, after acquiring the virus from a child who had fallen ill. Müller recovered from the virus and, after testing negative, was able to return to her job.

“That first time I was back at work after two weeks, having had only some chest pain, some throat congestion, a bit of fever and pharyngitis,” Müller told the daily La Nación.

The doctor submitted to two tests in April, both of which came back negative, before receiving the all clear. “I thought I had acquired immunity,” Müller said.

But four months later Müller fell ill with the virus again, much harder this time. “The second time the infection was completely different,” said Müller. The doctor developed pneumonia at the end of July and had to go into hospital for five days. “I had all the symptoms, except losing my sense of taste, though I did lose my sense
of smell.”

Müller’s samples from both infections, in March and July, have been sent to the capital city of Buenos Aires for analysis and study. “Maybe she developed few antibodies because she only had a mild infection the first time,” said doctor Eduardo López, a government coronavirus expert in Buenos Aires.

Argentina had a record-breaking 8,713 new cases and 382 coronavirus-related deaths Monday, with nearly 351 thousand accumulated cases and 7,366 deaths so far.

A health care worker takes a sun bath in an ambulance outside the Dr. Alberto Antranik Eurnekian hospital in Ezeiza, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21 August 2020.

A health care worker takes a sun bath in an ambulance outside the Dr. Alberto Antranik Eurnekian hospital in Ezeiza, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21 August 2020. Photograph: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters

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