Reinfection Rate Less Than 1% For Those With Severe COVID-19

Non-white patients were deemed to be at a greater risk for reinfection.

A recent review conducted by investigators from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, in collaboration with the schools Institute for Data Science and Informatics, has discovered that less than 1% of individuals who developed severe illness when infected with COVID-19 contracted the disease again.

Results from the study were published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease.

“Our analysis also found asthma and nicotine dependence were associated with reinfection,” Adnan I. Qureshi, lead investigator on the study said. “However, there was a significantly lower rate of pneumonia, heart failure and acute kidney injury observed with reinfection compared with primary infection.”

For the study, the team of investigators analyzed data from 62 healthcare facilities in the United States that included over 9,000 patients with severe COVID-19 who received serial tests. They then performed logistic regression analysis to identify demographic and clinical characteristics associated with re-infection.

Reinfection was defined by two positive tests separated by interval of greater than 90 days two after resolution of first infection was confirmed by two or more consecutive negative tests.

Findings from the study showed that of the participants, 63 (0.7%) with severe disease contracted the virus for a second time. The mean reinfection period was 116 days, and 2 (3.2%) of the 63 patients died.

Additionally, non-white patients were seen to be at a greater risk of reinfection in comparison to white patients.

“This is one of the largest studies of its kind in the US and the important message here is that COVID-19 reinfection after an initial case is possible, and the duration of immunity that an initial infection provides is not completely clear,” Qureshi said.