A normal view of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta.
Tami Chappell | Reuters
A brand new CDC examine discovered that some aged individuals who apparently recovered from the coronavirus later got here down with a second, even worse case — indicating that asymptomatic or gentle instances might not present numerous safety towards turning into reinfected with Covid-19.
The examine, revealed Thursday within the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, studied two separate outbreaks that occurred three months aside at a talented nursing facility in Kentucky. Between mid-July and mid-August, 20 residents and 5 health-care personnel examined constructive for the virus, in keeping with the examine.
The second outbreak, between late October and the start of December, was worse — 85 residents and 43 health-care personnel examined constructive for the virus. Among the many residents who examined constructive through the first outbreak and have been nonetheless residing within the facility, 5 of them examined constructive a second time greater than 90 days after their first constructive check.
Although Covid-19 reinfections do occur, they’re usually uncommon.
By way of frequent surveillance after the primary outbreak, all 5 residents had a minimum of 4 unfavorable exams between outbreaks, suggesting they have been probably reinfected with the virus in a while, the examine discovered. Reinfection signifies that an individual who had Covid-19 recovered after which obtained it once more, in keeping with the CDC.
“The publicity historical past, together with the timing of roommates’ infections and the brand new onset of signs through the second outbreak, counsel that the second constructive RT-PCR outcomes represented new infections after the sufferers apparently cleared the primary an infection,” wrote Alyson Cavanaugh, one of many researchers who led the examine.
Whereas solely two of the 5 residents skilled slight signs through the first outbreak, all 5 probably reinfected residents confirmed indicators of sickness the second time. The 2 residents who reported signs through the first outbreak “skilled extra extreme signs through the second infectious episode,” in keeping with the examine. One resident was hospitalized and subsequently died.
In accordance with the examine’s researchers, this was “noteworthy” as a result of it suggests the likelihood that individuals who present gentle to no signs throughout their first infections “don’t produce a sufficiently sturdy immune response to stop reinfection.” The outcomes “counsel the likelihood that illness will be extra extreme throughout a second an infection.”
“The findings of this examine spotlight the significance of sustaining public well being mitigation and safety methods that scale back transmission threat, even amongst individuals with a historical past of COVID-19 an infection,” Cavanaugh wrote.
The examine famous some limitations. As a result of specimens weren’t saved, researchers could not conduct genomic sequencing, a laboratory approach that breaks down the virus’s genetic code, to substantiate reinfection, researchers stated. Additionally, “no extra check outcomes exist to help the preliminary check end result as a real constructive” through the first outbreak, they stated.
It is thought that the chance of reinfection for the final inhabitants remains to be low, however nursing dwelling residents could also be significantly in danger given their congregate residing and excessive variety of exposures, in keeping with the examine.
“Expert nursing amenities ought to use methods to scale back the chance for SARS-CoV-2 transmission amongst all residents, together with amongst those that have beforehand had a COVID-19 prognosis, Cavanaugh wrote.