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Possible COVID-19 'reinfection' documented by La Crosse County officials

The patient has tested positive on occasions more than three months apart.
Author:

An individual who was thought to have recovered from one bout with COVID-19 has tested positive for the virus for a second time. 

The tests came more than three months apart, according to the La Crosse County Health Department, which said Tuesday that it is the "1st time that an individual person has been counted in our case count twice due to reinfection." 

Despite the same person testing positive again, there are no known cases of reinfection in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The possibility of reinfection hasn't been ruled out, but other potential explanations are that the test recognized the original infection or the test generated a false positive. 

The CDC advises individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms for a second time more than three months after the original instance should be retested. 

"Persons with recurrent symptoms after the first 3 months who test positive should be considered infectious and remain isolated until they again meet criteria for discontinuation of isolation or of transmission-based precautions," the CDC says. "If reinfection is suspected, repeat isolation and contact tracing may be needed."

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The county health department said it is treating this case as a reinfection, and that the patient's symptoms "were not the same the second time," the health department said in a response to an inquiry on its Facebook post. 

A patient was counted as a reinfection case in Kentucky on Tuesday as well, according to the Todd County Health Department. 

There have been no known instances of reinfection in Minnesota, the state health department confirmed to Bring Me The News. 

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