S Korea reports first suspected A/H1N1 reinfection case

19:49, November 26, 2009      

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South Korea on Thursday reported a suspected reinfection case related to the A/H1N1 flu, the first in the country.

According to the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, a two-year-old girl, who has recovered from the new contagious disease in September, was again tested positive for the virus this month.

It is the first such case reported in the country, which also is rare in the world.

Health officials said the baby was admitted to a hospital in the southeastern city of Gimhae in September due to high fever, and was confirmed to be infected with the virus by Green Cross Reference Laboratory that tests samples provided by local clinics and hospitals. The baby later recovered after receiving antiviral treatment.

However, the baby was sent to hospital again on Nov. 20 as she had a temperature reaching 39.1 C and showed respiratory-related symptoms, and later was tested positive for the A/H1N1 strain, the officials said.

Samples taken from the baby will be sent to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to check its genetic sequence to find out whether it is a mutated strain of the new flu, the officials added.

Generally, a person that has recovered from the new flu will produce antibodies and develop immunity to the virus.

Officials cited the possibility that the baby did not infect the virus in September and just was misdiagnosed as no re-checking of the first sample was made. But they also said the baby might contract a mutated virus, or the baby has not develop related immunity as she is too young to have a perfect immune system.

Source: Xinhua
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