Cases of reinfection raise concerns; Govt doctor reinfected of coronavirus in Chennai

The rising number of coronavirus cases in India is unstoppable and fear of reinfection has increased concerns regarding the treatment plan. Reinfection would mean that the whole concept of treatment and usage of vaccines will have to be reevaluated. Apart from that, it would also mean increased time of treatment which will impact the recovery rate of the patients.

Health Experts are also inside the risk radius especially after the news of a Chennai based government doctor being reinfected of the coronavirus broke earlier today. The 35-year-old government doctor had tested positive for coronavirus in May and soon recovered but again in September, she again tested positive for COVID-19. Although the cases of reinfection are not a lot in number this is an unknown phenomenon even for the experts. The state health department also said that it is yet to start studying this side of the virus.

The doctor is a Gynecologist who was on duty when she was first tested in May and after being tested positive, she was in isolation for 14 days after which, she again took the test and was found to be negative.  “She rejoined duty in June and has been reporting to work regularly. About 10 days ago, she developed fever and myalgia again,” her husband said. He further added that this time even her lung functioning was affected by 20%.

But this is not the first incident in Chennai. Before this, a make nursing assistance staff was also found to be reinfected. The staff who works in a private hospital was reportedly tested positive in May and then again this month, he was found to be infected. This time he is in the ICU.

It is clear from these incidents that the second time the virus hits a body, it has a more significant effect because the body then grows immune to the treatment it once received. However, a senior health official said that these cases might be less than one percent of the total number of cases. “We haven’t started to document these cases yet. It will be done later,” he said.

The world is already defusing the blow of the coronavirus pandemic and if reinfection rates begin to rise, it will be no less than an apocalypse. Scientists and health experts working to create a vaccine will have to shift their focus to a possibility of reinfection as well and then go ahead with confirming the vaccine’s efficiency.

Deputy Director at the National Institute of Epidemiology, ICMR, Dr. Prabhadeep Kaur also said that there is a lot of concern regarding the reinfections but the problem is unless genetic sequencing of the old and the current sample is done, the infection cannot be confirmed.

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