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DES MOINES, Iowa — Many have asked if a person can get reinfected with COVID-19 if they have already had the virus. A local infectious disease specialist said it is possible.

“When we look at people where we actually have samples from their first infection and their second infection and are able to look at the DNA, so genotype those samples, we see several cases. It is rare, but we’ve seen several cases of reinfection happening within three months span,” said Dr. Megan Srinivas, an infectious disease specialist.

However, Dr. Srinivas said there are many cases that go unnoticed because it is very expensive to both keep and run DNA testing on people’s test samples. She said doctors are now more concerned about reinfection because of the new, more contagious variants that are now circulating in the United States.

“A past infection with COVID with a dominant strain that had been here in the United States might not necessarily protect you against these new variants that are popping up now,” Dr. Srinivas said.

She said that is why continuing to wear a mask is the best way to control the spread of these new variants.