Can You Get Coronavirus Twice?

Coronavirus or the COVID-19 has become a pandemic with entire Europe, especially Italy, Spain, Germany and almost whole of the United States being worst hit by this disease. The virus that started in the Wuhan province of China has now engulfed more than 200 countries across the world. According to latest figures as on April 10, 2020, more than 1,600,000 people have been affected by this disease and as many as 96,000 people have lost their lives out of which more than 4,68,000 patients are from United States alone with over 16500 fatalities. Even though the mortality of COVID-19 is very low it is the rate of transmission of this disease that has created havoc across the world.[1]

Coronavirus has been known to clinicians since 1960’s and most of the common cough and cold are caused by this virus. The major complications that had been observed with coronavirus had been SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, both of which proved to be extremely deadly. This new strain of Coronavirus was first discovered in December 2019.[1]

The new strain affects the respiratory system in the vulnerable population and often at times becomes fatal very quickly. Clinicians believe that the Coronavirus or COVID-19 spread from a seafood market in Wuhan, China. What makes the COVID-19 more threatening is the fact that people may have the virus but may not have any symptoms at all. These people are called carriers of the virus and have high chances of spreading it to others without even realizing. In majority of the cases, COVID-19 runs its course and the symptoms go away with minimal treatment and self-isolation.[1]

However, people who are immune compromised or have premorbid conditions are vulnerable to respiratory complications and require much aggressive treatments. Among the various questions that people in general have about Coronavirus, one is whether you can get the infection twice.[1] This is what has been discussed in the article below.

Can You Get Coronavirus Twice?

Can You Get Coronavirus Twice?

With the numbers of patients of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 increasing by the day there are constant fears whether it is possible that a person already treated for the disease may get it again. This fear has been mostly because of a case from Osaka in Japan where a female in her 40’s was tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time after being treated for it. However, researchers are still trying to determine if it is possible to get Coronavirus or COVID-19 twice as the data at present is still inconclusive.[2]

What has been determined after studying the cases around the world, majority of the cases are mild to moderate and most people have recovered. This data has been provided by the World Health Organization or WHO. Researchers state that people who are infected with Coronavirus or COVID-19 develop antibodies to the virus. However, how long those antibodies last still remains a question. Thus the likelihood of some people getting the infection twice increases, especially the elderly and immune compromised patients.[2]

The clinicians further add that even if there is a likelihood of getting Coronavirus or COVID-19 twice, the recovery rate from this infection is quite good. The Center for Disease Control states that the immune response for Coronavirus or COVID-19 is not completely understood. It further states that people with other forms of coronavirus like MERS are extremely unlikely to get infected twice but the same cannot be said for COVID-19.[2]

Further studies are still being carried out for Coronavirus or COVID-19 to understand the nature of the virus further and try and determine whether an individual can be infected twice due to Coronavirus or COVID-19. The clinicians thus advise the successfully treated Coronavirus or COVID-19 patients to follow the guidelines as directed by the WHO and the CDC.[2]

They need to remain in isolation and follow good hygiene practices and should stay away from people who are sick and wash their hands regularly. They should also wear a mask and cover their faces while coughing and sneezing.[2]

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