Since the COVID-19 pandemic really took hold in the U.S., there’s been a presumption that patients who were infected with and then recovered from the virus had protection against reinfection. We now know that’s not correct, however; patients can get COVID-19 more than once. So far, evidence indicates reinfection is rare—but there have been confirmed cases, the first one in the U.S. being a symptomatic 25-year-old, otherwise healthy, man who first tested positive on April 18. An article in The Lancet details how he was declared “recovered” by virtue of cessation of symptoms and a negative test 9 days later. However, after experiencing serious symptoms again on May 31, he reported to an urgent care center and ultimately tested positive for the second time. This should inform common practices in the clinical setting, as well as conversations urgent care providers have with patients whether they’ve had the virus, live or interact regularly with anyone who has had the virus, or are on the fence about the need to main protective measures.
Make Patients Understand—Recovering from COVID-19 Does Not Confer Long-Term Immunity