Janice Brown, 66, was the first COVID-19 positive patient at Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville, California, in late March.
Now, she is the first two-time coronavirus patient hospitalized at Desert Valley.
“I thought it was over,” Brown told the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview. “Everybody thought it was over.”
Brown survived her first round with coronavirus after a four-week stay in the hospital. She went back two weeks later when her blood pressure dropped and her temperature spiked. She tested positive again.
“[Brown] was the first patient that came back to the hospital that tested positive again,” Dr. Imran Siddiqui said. “Is it a reinfection or the same infection? We don’t know.”
More than 160 South Koreans tested positive for a second time for COVID-19 in April, weeks after being discharged, though health officials there did not label them as reinfections. Korean doctors instead say those patients likely had lower levels of the virus that diagnostic polymerase chain reaction tests failed to pick up.
Most scientists say people who have had the virus gain some immunity, though they do not know how long that protection lasts.
Brown left the hospital for a second time last week.