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Covid-19 live updates Reinfection is possible but rare, data from 63 million medical records shows

A health-care worker comforts a covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit at the General University Hospital in Prague on March 26. (Milan Jaros/Bloomberg)
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In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, a frightening mystery stemmed from anecdotes about people previously stricken with covid-19 getting sick again a few months later. The possibility of reinfection raised the specter of a never-ending pandemic.

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But an analysis of 63 million medical records by data scientists shows that while reinfection is possible, it is rare. Out of about 400,000 people with positive tests for the coronavirus, only 0.4 percent tested positive twice in a period more than 90 days apart, according to the study by health-care software company Epic Systems.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Federal health authorities are leaning toward recommending that use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine resume, possibly as soon as this weekend — a move that would include a new warning about a rare complication involving blood clots but probably would not call for age restrictions.
  • Should you wear a mask outside? Experts weigh in.
  • India on Thursday reported a staggering 314,835 cases, the world’s highest number of new infections in a 24-hour period since the beginning of the pandemic. The surge has inundated hospitals.
  • The European Union is set to take legal action against Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca for failing to supply the vast majority of vaccine doses it was contracted to deliver, two diplomats who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations told The Washington Post.
  • Half of America’s eligible population has received at least one vaccine dose, and new cases, while still high, are showing declines of almost 12 percent over the past week. Nearly 570,000 people in the country have died of the virus.

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