Colleagues of an Egyptian pharmacist infected with COVID-19 display a sign in a show of support for her in a hospital where she is staying. Image Credit: Facebook

Cairo: In a rare case, an Egyptian woman has said she has contracted the coronavirus three times in a space of seven months.

Hanan Lutfi, a pharmacist in the Egyptian Delta province of Mansura, attributed repeated infection to her work that made her get in touch with infected people.

According to her, she first tested positive for the disease in April. “After I recovered, I returned to my work, but got infected again in September,” she told private satellite television MBC Masr.

Last month, Lutfi tested positive for the virus for the third time. She said she had been in a provincial hospital since November 21 and is also being treated for pneumonia.

“The symptoms have been more severe this time as I’m suffering from lung clots,” Lutfi added.

“Thank God, I’m 35 years old and can resist the disease, but there are old people who can’t,” she told state Egyptian television in a phone-in interview, urging strict observance of anti-virus precautions. There is nothing as temporary immunity as I’ve got infected for the third time,” she added.

Rare case

An Egyptian expert described Lutfi’s case as rare. “Those catching the coronavirus twice are not many in the world,” Dr Adel Khattab, a member of the state Higher Virology Committee, said. “Those getting infected three times are definitely a rarity,” he added.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country of over 100 million people, so far has registered a total of 116,724 virus cases and 6,694 related fatalities.

The Egyptian government has recently warned against an anticipated spike in virus infections in the country.

Last month, President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi called on Egyptians to take seriously the precautions against COVID-19 to avoid reimposing tough restrictions, including a partial curfew, taken against the virus outbreak earlier this year.