The head of Russia's Tyva region in southern Siberia says he has been infected with coronavirus for a second time -- three months after he was first hospitalized with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Sholban Kara-Ool announced what he described as a COVID-19 reinfection in a video statement that he posted to social media on August 24.
"Yes, my compatriots, it turns out this infection may strike even twice," Kara-Ool said. "I'm back here at the hospital for infectious diseases. It's COVID-19 again. I have been infected for a second time."
Kara-Ool said the disease was different for him the second time. He said it was not affecting his lungs as it had in May, but rather, the blood vessels in his head.
"Very strong headaches. But it's no problem. I must survive," he said.
His announcement comes after scientists in Hong Kong this week reported the first confirmed case of a coronavirus reinfection -- saying a man there became ill with COVID-19 for a second time more than four months after doctors had declared he'd recovered from the disease.
Meanwhile, European virologists said on August 25 that two cases of coronavirus reinfections had also been confirmed in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Virologist Marion Koopmans, an adviser to the Dutch government, said there had been previous cases in which COVID-19 has flared up for a second time in people who've been sick with the virus a long time.
But Koopmans said a true reinfection -- as in the Dutch, Belgian, and Hong Kong cases -- requires genetic testing of the virus in both the first and second infection to determine whether the two cases differ slightly.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, NOS.nl, Interfax, and TASS