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Local infectious disease expert says COVID-19 reinfections a real possibility

Lisa Barrett believes it is inevitable that we were going to get reinfections
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A local infectious disease expert says a recent possible case of COVID-19 reinfection serves as a reminder that nobody has perfect immunity.

On Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said they were investigating the province's most recent COVID-19 case which involves a home care nurse who was previously infected with the virus.

It's still not confirmed but Dalhousie University's Dr. Lisa Barrett believes it is inevitable that we were going to get reinfections.

"We always sort of thought, given this particular type of virus, that you may be able to get reinfected mainly because the immune response you build is probably not perfect in all people," she said. "Reinfections with viruses, regardless of whether you get new strains or not, is sometimes a very real possibility."

Barrett says we still don't know whether this is a confirmed case of reinfection, but people who have been exposed to the virus in the past shouldn't assume they are completely protected.

"Definitely don't have that change how you approach the prevention mechanisms that we know work," she said.

"Distance, masking and hand-washing should never go away just because you had COVID-19 before and we shouldn't assume that people have perfect immunity."


Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for HalifaxToday.ca and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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