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A new positive SARS-CoV-2 test months after severe COVID-19 illness: reinfection or intermittent viral shedding?
  1. Jessica Tuan,
  2. Anne Spichler-Moffarah and
  3. Onyema Ogbuagu
  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jessica Tuan; Jessica.Tuan{at}Yale.Edu


We present a case of a patient who had a history of severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) 4 months prior to this current presentation and, after a long asymptomatic period, subsequently tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) by a RNA PCR assay, after several interval negative SARS-CoV-2 RNA tests. We present this potential case of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in order to incite discussion around differentiating persistent infection with intermittent viral shedding and reinfection, as well as to discuss evolving knowledge and approaches to the clinical management, follow-up molecular testing and treatment of COVID-19 reinfection.

  • COVID-19
  • immunology
  • pneumonia (infectious disease)

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  • Contributors JT, AS-M and OO have contributed individually and as a group to the writing of this case report with regard to the planning, conduct, reporting, conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.