High recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 re-infection in healthcare workers

COVID 19 is among the most difficult times for many. Initially, the disease had serious adverse effects on the health of the patients and mental stress for others. However, with time new interventions were created to control the severeness of the disease. Nevertheless, the risk of recurrence prevailed among many recovered patients especially among the frequently exposed personnel such as front liners.

A study published in the Journal of Infection in the Developing Countries identified more than 28 million people and one hundred thousand healthcare workers worldwide were infected with COVID-19. Recently, in turkey, it was observed that the rate of recurrence has risen especially among healthcare workers. Serkan Atici, the lead author,  reported, “a sudden relapse in the health workers is an alarming sign for the community as it could lead to worsening conditions and the collapse of the healthcare system.”

Two case studies of health care workers were discussed, both were middle-aged (40 years) with frequent contact with the COVID 19 patients. Consistent symptoms were reported at both times in each patient which included fever, sore throat, cough and mild respiratory symptoms. The research team reported, “ various questions were raised in respect to their immunity and the predictability of the recurrence.”         

The author highlighted, “the previous investigation conducted on september 2020 estimated the risk of the reinfection between 6 and 105 months. However, the peak of reinfection was evident at 12 months, respectively.”

It was observed that the patients with higher antibody titers suffered severe infection compared to the others. Hence, this indicated the SARS COV 2 antibodies are neutralized in 2 or 3 months and the protective effect of the antibodies is only for a short period.

Therefore, it is recommended to increase the personal protection using personal protective equipment (PPE) and improve the working conditions in the hospital with effective strategies for better protect healthcare workers.

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