Many Reinfection Questions… No Firm Answers

Health workers chat at a Simla, Colorado nursing home linked to the first US case involving a more contagious COVID-19 variant. December 30, 2020.   Image: Michael Ciaglo/Getty
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Health workers chat at a Simla, Colorado nursing home linked to the first US case involving a more contagious COVID-19 variant. December 30, 2020. Image: Michael Ciaglo/Getty

Mounting evidence suggests that reinfection may be more likely with the new coronavirus variants.
 
Studies of variants in South Africa and Brazil found new infections cropped up in people who’d had an earlier version of the virus, AP reports.
 
So far, COVID-19 reinfection has been classified as very rare—less than 50 cases have been substantiated worldwide, a global reinfection trackerfound, NBC News reports

But: Insufficient tracking may be obscuring the numbers.
 

In The US: Only a handful of reinfection cases have been confirmed. However, few labs hold onto testing samples or perform genetic sequencing that would confirm a reinfection and whether it was caused by a different variant.  
 
Newly minted CDC chief Rochelle Walensky says that is changing and that sequencing has “increased tenfold” in recent weeks.

CDC Recommendation: Investigating for possible reinfection when someone tests positive 90+ days after an initial infection.

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