Pune doc tests +ve again, 3 months after first infection; samples at NIV for virus genome sequencing
If the doctor has tested negative twice in an RT-PCR and then tests positive again, it seems like a possible case of Covid-19 reinfection, says Dr Subhash Salunkhe, epidemiologist and chairman of the state technical committee on communicable diseasesUpdated: Sep 26, 2020, 16:13 IST
A resident doctor at the Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital has tested positive for Covid-19 “a second time” in a three-month period, according to the hospital administration.
The practising doctor had tested negative for the Sars-Cov-2 virus which causes the Covid-19 infection, twice, after his first infection, the hospital said.
The doctor’s samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for a genome sequencing and antibodies test.
Dr Parikshit Prayag, the consulting doctor for Covid-19 at Deenanath Mangeshkar, said, “The doctor had tested positive in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, on June 12 through the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. During discharge on June 22, he was tested again and he was negative. The test was repeated 24 hours later, and he tested negative again. All these tests were RT-PCR. After that, the doctor continued his work. However, a few days ago, the doctor felt uneasy and complained of body ache. We tested him through an antigen test on Friday and he tested positive for the infection.”
Dr Prayag added: “We have had patients complain about Covid-19 like symptoms even after recovery and they do test positive again, even weeks later, but these have never tested negative for the infection. In this case, however, the patient tested negative twice through RT-PCR, which is the highest standard of testing and is known for its accuracy.”
Dr Subhash Salunkhe, epidemiologist and chairman of the state technical committee on communicable diseases, said, “If the doctor has tested negative twice in an RT-PCR and then tests positive again, it seems like a possible case of Covid-19 reinfection. There have been a few cases wherein the patient has tested positive twice, however, it is yet to be known if it is truly a reinfection, or a relapse, or just the shredding of the dead virus. Since this virus is completely new there is very limited information available. We do not even know how long the antibodies stay in the person’s system once they have recovered from the virus. In this case, the person tested negative twice in an RT-PCR which is considered the gold standard for testing.”