South Dakota health officials investigate 28 possible COVID-19 reinfections
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The South Dakota Department of Health is investigating dozens of possible cases of individuals getting reinfected with COVID-19.
Health officials have identified 28 possible reinfections, State Epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said in a media briefing Wednesday - though he cautioned that these reinfection cases have not been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.
The 28 individuals all tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus a second time at least 90 days after their initial infection. Clayton said the South Dakota Department of Health investigates those cases with help from the patient’s medical provider.
However, the state relies on consultation from the CDC on how to confirm individual reinfections. The CDC has yet to offer guidance on these cases, officials said.
“We are still waiting for the CDC guidance on how states should be determining confirmed reinfections of COVID-19,” Sec. of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said. “That’s important, so that there’s comparability across states.”
As for what this means for COVID-19 immunity and the protective properties of coronavirus antibodies, including how long they might protect an individual, officials said it is still too soon to tell for certain. Clayton said the medical community is still awaiting large-scale, academic-level studies to provide answers to these questions.
“We don’t have a lot of answers at this point,” Clayton said.
Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.