MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Thirty-four people in Mecklenburg County have been reinfected with COVID-19, according to the county’s public health department.
This means each individual has had two documented positive tests more than three months apart. Health officials said they started tracking this at the end of August.
“At this time, we are not aware of any deaths in an individual who meet this criteria,” officials said in an email to Channel 9.
The Health Department does not include reinfections as new cases in its case counts.
“While we investigate each case at the time of the test result, we have not yet had the opportunity to fully compile and analyze the data to answer the questions: common threads, trends in symptoms, etc.,” officials said. “We hope to be able to do so in the near future.”
This announcement comes after Stanly County also reported two cases of reinfection.
Health officials told Channel 9 the first individual tested positive in March and tested positive a second time 33 weeks later. The second person tested positive in August and tested positive a second time approximately 14 weeks later.
Stanly County health officials said they consulted with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to determine if these cases would classify as “reinfections.”
The CDC is actively working to learn more about reinfections to inform the public and what actions to take.
Reinfection means “a person was infected once, recovered and then later became infected again.”
According to the CDC, cases of reinfection with COVID-19 are rare and health officials are still learning more about it.
Studies have helped scientists understand how likely is reinfection and how often, how soon it can happen after the first infection, how severe are cases of reinfection and what reinfection means for a person’s immunity.
The CDC said it has developed recommendations for health officials to use when they need to decide when and how to test someone for reinfection. It also has provided information for state and local health departments to investigate suspected cases of reinfection.
Whether you have had COVID-19 or not, the CDC said these are some of the best ways to prevent infection and reinfection:
- Wear a mask in public places
- Stay at least six feet away from others
- Wash your hands
- Avoid crowds and confined spaces