The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has issued a Threat Assessment Brief on reinfection with SARS-CoV-2.
Six cases of suspected or possible reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 have been recently reported in different countries - Hong Kong, Nevada, USA, Belgium, Ecuador and India. There are also media reports of cases in the Netherlands, Spain and several additional cases globally that are under investigation.
In many of these cases, it is uncertain if the individual’s polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test remained positive for a long period of time following the first episode of infection or whether it represents a true reinfection.
In the six cases there has been no evidence of onward transmission from the re-infected individuals to any close contacts.
The ECDC says the possibility of reinfection implies that individuals that have been infected once cannot be definitively considered to be immune. While reinfections appear to be very uncommon events, more evidence and longer follow-up time is required to better understand duration of immunity, transmissibility and the likelihood and implications of reinfection.