COVID-19 reinfection suspected in MGH patient

COVID-19 reinfection suspected in MGH patient

BOSTON — Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital suspect an 82-year-old man treated earlier in the year for COVID-19, was infected again after he recovered.

The findings were published in the July issue of The American Journal of Emergency Medicine and reviewed by Boston 25 News. The patient had a series of underlying health conditions including hypertension, kidney disease, and Parkinson’s, per the report.

The man was first treated in early April after a week of fever and shortness of breath, according to the report. He spent 28 days in the intensive care unit and sent to a rehabilitation facility where he recovered, the report states.

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Ten days later, he was back in the hospital with a fever, he tested positive, again for COVID-19, doctors wrote. The report’s authors also said there are potential alternative explanations for the positive test, for instance, bacterial pneumonia, but added that the results raised “suspicion for reinfection.”

Boston 25 News sought comment through a Mass. General spokesman and did not hear back from the report’s authors.

Carol Lundquist of Boston said the report doesn’t tell her enough, as has been the case with much of the available information on COVID-19.

“I try not to look very far down the road because the information is just not there.”

Richard Ellison is an epidemiologist at UMass Memorial who reviewed the MGH findings before speaking with Boston 25 News.

“What we really want to do is find a case like this and for somebody to grow the virus say that we find live virus present at Mass General, they didn’t find live virus,” said Ellison.

A new study from King’s College London examined antibodies in 90 people who tested positive for coronavirus and found that their antibodies peaked three weeks after the onset of symptoms, then declined within two to three months.

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