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Covid-19 re-infection

Date: 05 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has conducted a research to identify the possible ways of SARS-CoV2 re-infection.



The study was focused on individuals who were infected by Covid-19 twice and their tests were conducted before finding positivity.



  • The covid-19 re-infection is a hotly debated topic and there is no clear evidence whether a person infected once can develop permanent immunity against the disease, or can get re-infected after a period of time.

  • There are several cases of people getting infected more than once but all cases are not considered cases of re-infections.

  • The study found that 58 of the 1,300 individuals tested could be considered as re-infected. This was about 4.5% of the sample size.

  • Out of the 58 people who tested positive, their positivity result had to be atleast 102 days apart with a negative result in between.


Importance of study

  • Understanding possibility of re-infection is a crucial factor in fighting the pandemic by making strategies.

  • It will help in controlling disease, finding alternate to physical distancing and also dependence on use of facial masks.

  • The study will help in distinguishing re-infection from active virus shedding that takes place in infected individuals.

  • The study indicates that permanent immunity cannot be guaranteed. New ways have to be identified to protect against re-infection in individuals.


Determining re-infection

  • Scientists make use of genome sequencing to determine if there is a re-infection. This is because virus sample from both infections have different genetic variations due to mutations.

  • This process is not full proof because genome sequence of previous sample is not available to compare with the existing sample to determine re-infection.

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