Seattle – The man from Seattle was probably very lucky after officially surviving COVID-19 twice. His case is only the third time in the United States that doctors have confirmed a re-infection.
Doctors at a Swedish hospital say the patient is a 60-year-old man who is living in a nursing home again and has contracted the virus. He first contracted the coronavirus in March and spent more than 40 days in hospital with a severe case of the virus. Then in July he was hospitalized again with symptoms.
The test results were at least disturbing ̵1; he was re-infected with the virus, but it was a different strain. Fortunately, doctors told him that his second contraction was less severe.
This revelation is another thing that makes COVID-19 so mysterious and disturbing to the medical community.
Many people know what it’s like to feel a real fear of getting the virus. But for those few who fall ill for the second time, fear is an understatement.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my experience and a day that I don’t think that if I get sick again,” said coronavirus survivor Michael Flor.
“I’m afraid to get it again, I can’t imagine anything worse happening,” said another survivor, David.
This is something that many feared was possible, but getting confirmation is especially difficult for many people who have survived COVID-19.
“I don’t remember my first month in intensive care, I don’t really remember it, other than what people told me,” Flor said.
In early March, Flora was hospitalized for the virus. This caused him such severe complications, he was placed in an induced coma. Doctors once called his wife and children and said he did not appear to be doing so. The nurses helped them FaceTime with him so his family could say goodbye.
“It’s very emotional, I don’t remember it, but I could hear the trauma in her voice, it was hard, it was hard to listen to it, and maybe we first talked about it when I realized I almost died.” said David.
Now that a patient in Seattle has confirmed that he has been infected twice, Flor inevitably thinks that if; what if it happened to him.
“It is extremely painful to get infected. Do you know how often you can dodge a bullet? And I thought about it. Do you know if I got sick again, could I beat him a second time? I don’t know, it’s scary, “said Flor.
In early March, David tested positive for COVID-19. But his symptoms did not go away quickly. He was constantly unbelievably ill, even after it seemed to leave his system.
David said it’s still a huge struggle with his long-term symptoms, but he’s gradually getting better. But the thought of contracting the virus scares him again.
“In a word, it’s awful, awful,” he said.
It’s a feeling that he knows he’s not alone.
“Reinfection is definitely a big topic in the support group I’m in … it was a big concern for some people, a major concern,” David said.
Reinfection is a huge area that the medical community is just beginning to learn more about. The Washington State Department of Health says one problem is that to get official confirmation that someone has been infected twice, they need to be able to test their initial positive smear, which is often unavailable because clinics tend to throw them after a certain period of time. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that they are working on a protocol to help them identify re-infection.