Costa Rica is investigating eight cases of possible reinfection of covid-19, four men and four women. One of the men has passed away. The analysis of these cases is ongoing and results should be available by the end of the year.
Many professionals are involved in the study. They are from the CCSS, the Ministry of Health, and the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health. They are looking at the patients’ symptoms, lab tests, and the amount of time that passed between infections.
In order to know for sure whether it is a reinfection or the same infection that just went without symptoms for a while, the genetics from the first diagnosis must be compared to the current sample to see if there has been a mutation in the virus or if it’s the same. In many cases, samples from the first time around are not still available. This would lead to suspected cases that can’t be confirmed.
Worldwide, only 26 cases of reinfection have been proven with scientific evidence. Another 1,191 cases are under investigation. The first documented reinfection was reported in August. Of the 26 confirmed reinfections, one has passed away. Of the 1,191 cases being reviewed, 16 have passed away. Only one case of reinfection has been proven in all of Latin America, thus far. The second infection shows up, on average, 76 days after the first.
Scientists wonder how this will affect vaccines. How long will they last? How many doses will be necessary?