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COVID-19 reinfection is rare say Italian researchers

Jun 2, 2021, 4:44 PM
27 Republican states filled federal lawsuits  against President Biden's vaccine mandate on private ...
27 Republican states filled federal lawsuits against President Biden's vaccine mandate on private companies. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

New data supports the claim that reinfection with COVID-19 is rare, even one year after a person gets the virus.

To draw this conclusion about reinfection, Italian researchers followed 1,579 people who’d been infected with COVID-19 in early 2020, as well as 13,496 people who were never infected with the virus. The population consisted of residents of Lombardy, Italy.

The research was conducted using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR), which is noted as one of the most accurate lab methods for detecting, tracking and studying COVID-19 by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

After 280 days, five people (or 0.3%) who’d previously been infected again tested positive. In the group of people who were never infected, 528 people (or 3.9%) tested positive for COVID-19.

“It’s very encouraging information,” Dr. Simone Wildes told Utah’s Morning News hosts, Tim Hughes and Amanda Dickson. “If you’ve had COVID, your odds of being reinfected are very low.”

Wildes is an infectious disease physician at South Shore Health in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

The study, published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, ended in late February, 2021, and did not reflect the presence of COVID-19 variants.

In an editor’s note to the study, Mitchell H. Katz, MD, addressed whether somebody who was infected with COVID-19 should be vaccinated against the virus.

“Because it is likely that immunization plus history of natural infection is better protection than natural infection alone,” Katz said, “all persons should be encouraged to get vaccinated even if they have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

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COVID-19 reinfection is rare say Italian researchers