With reports over reinfection cases around the world including India, the global medical community was left with tensions over the second wave while the vaccine trails are still on the go.
Weeks after Telangana confirmed a couple of reinfected cases, health workers from Noida and Mumbai coming out to be reinfected raised new tensions in India, the second worst-hit country in the world.
As of the data with Union Health Ministry, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra reported reinfection cases in India.
According to the preprint of a research paper submitted by the prestigious Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, reinfections started off in India and the frequency happens to be more in frontline workers like medical staff, police and scavengers.
However, the research revealed that the reinfected individuals were asymptomatic but had a higher viral load in the second episode of reinfection. Despite ICMR clarification that reinfection is not a matter of serious concern, tensions ran high among common man with various rumours over the second wave.
But what exactly is reinfection..? What are the chances of being infected again after making a full recovery from Covid-19?
Technically, we call it reinfection if a person was infected once, cleared the infection, and then is infected again. It might be the same virus that is surfacing again or it is a case of getting infected again by another viral event.
Determining reinfection is a challenge. Unlike the first time, scientists have to use genetic sequencing and match entire or pieces of the viral genetic material gathered from the first and second swab sample. If differences show up during sequencing, it is clearly a case of reinfection.
Going by multiple kinds of research taken up across the world, reinfections might not be a real challenge for the respective counties as the cases of reinfection are extremely rare even as the Covid-19 caseload worldwide has crossed 27 million.