North Carolina has seen 10,812 COVID-19 reinfections, according to state data

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services started reporting COVID-19 reinfections along with case counts on Monday.

The CDC definition says a reinfection is "a case of COVID-19 in someone with a positive laboratory test who previously had laboratory confirmed COVID-19 at least 90 days prior."

NCDHHS reports, from March 1 through September 20, 10,812 reinfections and 200 post-vaccination reinfections.

The numbers also show that 94 people died after they contracted a reinfected COVID-19 case. That's approximately .6% of the state's total COVID-19 deaths.

According to the data, 40% of reinfection cases are among 25 to 49 year olds. Sixty percent are in white people, 22% in Black people and 10% in Hispanic.

Austin Konkle, of Charlotte, is one of the people who got COVID-19 twice.

"Thankfully my second case, in my experience, was not nearly as bad," he said. "Obviously vaccines were not readily available, it wasn't even fully developed at that time. But I definitely had a much more challenging experience the first time."

Joanne Fruth, Chief Medical Officer of Avance Care, says the numbers give insight into how complex our immune systems are.

"Maybe you had Alpha variant the first time, and then this nasty Delta variant came around, and then you got infected by Delta variant, so I think that's sort of explains why people are getting reinfected," she said. "It just again reinforces that we have to stay vigilant that even if you had it once, you still have to wear your mask in public. You want to keep your distance and if you had it, still get vaccinated."

"If you don't think you're going to get it again, you really don't know," Konkle said. "At the end of the day, even though we have a lot of research behind coronaviruses and we know a lot about how different types, behave. This is still something that's relatively new."
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