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Coronavirus Reinfections: Can you get infected with Covid-19 twice? This is complicated

“So many 38 million cases worldwide. A dozen cases of replenishment have been reported so far,” said Drs. Soumya Swaminathan, a chief scientist at the World Health Organization, told CNN earlier this week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said this week health officials are starting to see “a number of cases” reported as recurrences.

“Well-documented cases,” he said, “” of infected people, after a brief short period of time measured anywhere from weeks to months are returned, exposed and infected again. “

“So you really have to be careful that you are not completely‘ immune, ’” Fauci said.

In August, doctors reported a 25-year-old Nevada man appeared to be the first recorded case of Covid-1
9 re-attachment to the US. The man was first diagnosed with Covid-19 in April and after recovering – and tested negative twice – he tested positive for the virus a month later.
A separate team of researchers reported in August a 33-year-old man living in Hong Kong had Covid-19 twice this year: in March and August.
And earlier this year, an 89-year-old Dutch woman – who also has a rare white blood cell cancer – died after being caught with Covid-19 twice, experts said. He was the first and only known person to die after being recected.

While it is possible to be infected again with the virus, scientists are still working on questions to answer, including who is more likely to be reinfected and how long the antibodies protect humans from another infection.

Scientists are analyzes how long the antibodies last

Many new reports published recently show Covid-19 immunity can last for months.

Researchers from the University of Arizona found that antibodies that protect against infection can last for at least five to seven months after Covid-19 infection.

New reports show that coronavirus immunity can last for months

In pandemic under one year of age, it is likely that it will be a long time before scientists get a clear picture of immunity.

That being said, we know that people infected with the first SARS coronavirus, which is the most similar virus to SARS-CoV-2, still see immunity 17 years after infection. SARS-CoV-2 is similar to the first one, we expect the antibodies to last at least two years, and this is unlikely to be any shorter, “said Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunobiologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, previously told CNN.

Other studies, one in Massachusetts and the other outside of Canada, support the idea of ​​long-term immunity.

Suggesting that “that if a vaccine is properly designed, it has the potential to induce a strong antibody response that will help protect the person vaccinated against the virus caused by COVID-19,” Jennifer Gommerman, professor of immunology at the University of Toronto, said in a statement.

What is not clear is how a secondary infection can affect any Covid-19 vaccine. The Nevada man experienced more critical symptoms in his second infection while the Hong Kong man had no obvious symptoms at the time of his recurrence.

“The implications of disinfection may be relevant for vaccine development and application,” according to the authors of a recent study in The Lancet.

How severe the disease can be is affected by antibodies

There are other things that researchers are beginning to notice: People with a poor immune system tend to have a stronger immune response.

“There is a difference between asymptomatic people, who have had a very mild infection, there seems to be a slightly larger number of those without noticeable antibodies,” Swaminathan, who is with the WHO, said. “But almost everyone with moderate to severe illness has antibodies.”

Bhattacharya, from Arizona, echoed that search.

“People sampled from the ICU have higher levels of antibodies than people with milder disease,” he said, adding that he does not yet know what this means for long-term survival. sick.

CNN’s Maggie Fox contributed to this report.

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