MercyOne Des Moines warns about coronavirus reinfection

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 6:29 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - MercyOne Des Moines said its hospitals have treated three people who have had the coronavirus twice.

Dr. Ravi Vemuri says one of the patients became extremely sick with what they believe is a reinfection. The other two, “moderately ill.”

Vemuri said those diagnosed with coronavirus can still test positive up to 90 days after their initial infection, because they continue to shed cells.

Studies also show contracting COVID-19 once does not bring immunity.

“People feel that immunity to coronavirus natural infection may not be robust and long-lasting and it may fade over time,” Vemuri said.

He said he believes a vaccine will still work even if reinfection is possible.

Vemuri said Iowans can protect themselves from reinfection by wearing masks, washing their hands and social distancing.

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