SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has 28 possible cases of people getting infected more than once with COVID-19.
Last week we talked with a Sioux Falls mother-of-three who tested positive for COVID-19 twice, six months apart.
KELOLAND News repeatedly asked the South Dakota Department of Health whether or not it had analyzed her tests to see if they were different genetic strains of the virus, we didn’t get an answer.
Today State Epidemiologist, Dr. Joshua Clayton, addressed the reinfection issue at the Department of Health weekly news conference. Dr. Clayton says the Centers for Disease Control has not issued states formal guidance on confirmed reinfections of COVID-19.
Dr. Clayton says South Dakota is partnering with the University of Minnesota lab for genetic sequencing to identify differences in the virus strains for future potential reinfection cases.
But that won’t apply to previous cases like Nicole Worthley’s.
“What it comes down to is we often don’t have the initial specimen because they are tested at an outside laboratory, so we don’t have the opportunity to do that genetic sequencing on a routine basis,” Dr. Clayton said.
“If it’s not considered a reinfection, then you can have COVID for 6 months straight and still test positive. People aren’t aware of that,” Worthley said.
The South Dakota Department of Health says studying these kinds of cases is going to help determine how long someone may be susceptible to the virus and when they could catch it again.
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