What is Coronavirus Reinfection?
Before we move along with our discussion, let’s first define what a “reinfection” means.
Getting the virus twice, or what experts call ‘reinfection’, means that you have recovered and tested negative for the virus. But then, after some time, you tested positive again.
And it’s not because you got traces of the virus left in your body, but because, somehow you got infected for the second time.
Essentially, this means that your latest infection is separate from the initial infection.
Can I Get Coronavirus Twice?
Doctors and health experts across the globe still have a lot of questions about the virus that caused the pandemic. One of them is, is there a possibility of reinfection?
New evidence suggests that it can happen.
They found the “strongest indication” in Hong Kong after a 33-year old man tested positive the second time.
According to reports, the man got the virus in March, was confined when he experienced mild symptoms, recovered, and eventually got discharged after testing negative twice.
On August 15, the man arrived in Hong Kong after traveling in Europe. As per protocol, the authorities tested him for the coronavirus.
When the results came back, he was positive even though he didn’t have symptoms. Experts say that he got the viral strain which was circulating in Europe, probably in July or August, and that it was different from his initial infection.
With researchers saying that it’s the world’s first documented case of reinfection, it’s safer to say that getting the coronavirus twice is possible.
Why is Reinfection Possible?
Reinfection happens because despite recovering from the initial infection, our bodies do not change extensively.
To put it simply, after recovery from the infection, we still have the same types of cells, such as respiratory cells that the virus can attach to. Just because patients are cured doesn’t mean that the recovered cells will prevent future infections.
Shouldn’t Patients Who Recover Gain Immunity?
Despite the possibility of reinfection, studies truly indicate that patients who recover from COVID-19 gain some kind of immunity against the virus.