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How much protection against future infections does prior infection with SARS-CoV-2 infection provide? This is an important question for advising individual patients, as well as for projecting future outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2.
In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Vitale and colleagues1 use the results of diagnostic reverse-transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction tests in Lombardy, Italy, to compare the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among persons with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection with persons who tested negative for the virus.
The differences were dramatic. The incidence density per 100 000 person days was 1.0 (95%, CI 0.5-1.5) for persons with a history of infection and 15.1 (95% CI, 14.5-15.7) for persons without a history of infection. These results complement those of Harvey and colleagues2 from the US, who found that patients with a positive diagnostic nucleic acid amplification test result for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were much less likely to develop SARS-CoV-2 infection at 90 days than persons without antibodies.
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Katz MH. Protection Because of Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection. JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 28, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.2966
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