Case Report: Recurrent Clinical Symptoms of COVID-19 in Healthcare Professionals: A Series of Cases from Brazil

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Nov;103(5):1993-1996. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-0893.


We describe six cases of healthcare professionals in Brazil who recovered but again presented symptoms consistent with COVID-19, with new positive reverse transcription (RT)-PCR test results. The cases reported herein presented symptom onset between March 16, 2020 and April 9, 2020. All were health professionals (four medical doctors), five were female, with a median age of 43.5 years, and three had comorbidities. All patients were confirmed for SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-PCR in naso and/or oropharyngeal swab samples. Among the reported cases, three (50%) underwent RT-PCR testing in the period between the two symptomatic episodes, with negative results. The time elapsed between the onset of symptoms in the two episodes ranged from 53 to 70 days (median, 56.5 days). In the first episode, the main symptoms described were fever (4/6), myalgia (3/6), sore throat (3/6), and cough (3/6). Meanwhile, during the second episode, fever (4/6) and weakness (3/6) predominated. Most of the cases progressed without complications, although one individual presented hypoxemia (minimum SatO2 of 90%) in both episodes, and two, only in the second, one of which required intensive care unit admission, progressing with improvement after medication and receiving noninvasive ventilatory support. We report cases with recurrence of symptoms compatible with COVID-19, with positive RT-PCR results, that could represent the occurrence of viral reactivation or reinfection. The true nature of this phenomenon should be better clarified in future studies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Brazil
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Recurrence*
  • SARS-CoV-2