CDC study finds nursing home residents who appear to have recovered from Covid were reinfected with an even worse case

A common view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta.

Tami Chappell | Reuters

A brand new CDC study discovered that some aged folks who apparently recovered from the coronavirus later got here down with a second, even worse case — indicating that asymptomatic or delicate circumstances could not present numerous safety in opposition to changing into reinfected with Covid-19.

The study, printed Thursday within the Centers for Disease Control 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 optimistic for the virus, in accordance to the study.

The second outbreak, between late October and the start of December, was worse — 85 residents and 43 health-care personnel examined optimistic for the virus. Among the residents who examined optimistic through the first outbreak and were nonetheless dwelling within the facility, 5 of them examined optimistic a second time greater than 90 days after their first optimistic take a look at.

Though Covid-19 reinfections do occur, they’re typically uncommon.

Through frequent surveillance after the primary outbreak, all 5 residents had a minimum of 4 detrimental checks between outbreaks, suggesting they were doubtlessly reinfected with the virus afterward, the study discovered. Reinfection implies that an individual who had Covid-19 recovered after which acquired it once more, in accordance to the CDC.

“The exposure history, including the timing of roommates’ infections and the new onset of symptoms during the second outbreak, suggest that the second positive RT-PCR results represented new infections after the patients apparently cleared the first infection,” wrote Alyson Cavanaugh, one of many researchers who led the study.

While solely two of the 5 residents skilled slight signs through the first outbreak, all 5 doubtlessly reinfected residents confirmed indicators of sickness the second time. The two residents who reported signs through the first outbreak “experienced more severe symptoms during the second infectious episode,” in accordance to the study. One resident was hospitalized and subsequently died.

According to the study’s researchers, this was “noteworthy” as a result of it suggests the likelihood that individuals who present delicate to no signs throughout their first infections “do not produce a sufficiently robust immune response to prevent reinfection.” The outcomes “suggest the possibility that disease can be more severe during a second infection.”

“The findings of this study highlight the importance of maintaining public health mitigation and protection strategies that reduce transmission risk, even among persons with a history of COVID-19 infection,” Cavanaugh wrote.

The study famous some limitations. Because specimens were not saved, researchers could not conduct genomic sequencing, a laboratory method that breaks down the virus’s genetic code, to affirm reinfection, researchers stated. Also, “no additional test results exist to support the initial test result as a true positive” through the first outbreak, they stated.

It’s thought that the danger of reinfection for the overall inhabitants remains to be low, however nursing home residents could also be notably in danger given their congregate dwelling and excessive variety of exposures, in accordance to the study.

“Skilled nursing services ought to use methods to scale back the danger for SARS-CoV-2 transmission amongst all residents, together with amongst these who have beforehand had a COVID-19 prognosis, Cavanaugh wrote.

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