Study finds low rate of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 in patients with severe disease
An examination of more than 9,000 U.S. patients with severe COVID-19 infection showed less than 1% had contracted the disease again, with an average time to reinfection of 3.5 months after an initial positive test. These are the findings of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care.
Researchers have partnered with the MU Institute for Data Science and Informatics and the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation to examine data from 62 U.S. healthcare facilities. They found that 63 of 9,119 patients (0.7%) with severe COVID-19 infection had contracted the virus a second time, with an average reinfection period of 116 days. Of the 63 re-infected, two (3.2%) died. Patients classified as non-white were at greater risk of re-infection than white patients.
“Our analysis also revealed that asthma and nicotine addiction were associated with reinfection,” said principal investigator Adnan I. Qureshi, MD, professor of clinical neurology at the MU School of Medicine. “However, there was a significantly lower rate of pneumonia, heart failure and acute kidney injury observed with reinfection compared to primary infection.”
Qureshi defined reinfection as two positive tests separated by an interval greater than 90 days after resolution of the initial infection, confirmed by two or more consecutive negative tests. He analyzed data from patients who received serial tests between December 2019 and November 2020.
“This is one of the largest such studies in the United States, and the important message here is that reinfection with COVID-19 after an initial case is possible, and the duration of immunity provided by an infection. initial is not entirely clear, ”Qureshi mentioned.
In addition to Qureshi, the study’s authors include other collaborators from the UM School of Medicine Iryna Lobanova, MD, research specialist in the department of neurology; S. Hasan Naqvi, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine; William Baskett, graduate student; Wei Huang, graduate student; and Chi-Ren Shyu, PhD, Director, MU Institute for Data Science and Professor of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science.