Reinfection with COVID-19
Cases of reinfection with COVID-19 have been reported, but remain rare.
In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again. Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected. We are still learning more about COVID-19. Ongoing COVID-19 studies will help us understand:
- How likely is reinfection
- How often reinfection occurs
- How soon after the first infection can reinfection take place
- How severe are cases of reinfection
- Who might be at higher risk for reinfection
- What reinfection means for a person’s immunity
- If a person is able to spread COVID-19 to other people when reinfected
The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19. It might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated people.
- Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including this variant.
- Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, including against this variant.
- Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from this variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period.
- Get vaccinated and wear masks indoors in public spaces to reduce the spread of this variant.
What CDC is doing
CDC is actively working to learn more about reinfection to inform public health action. CDC developed recommendations for public health professionals to help decide when and how to test someone for suspected reinfection. CDC has also provided information for state and local health departments to help investigate suspected cases of reinfection. We will update this guidance as we learn more about reinfection.
Important Ways to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. Find a vaccine.
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
- Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.