Can you get coronavirus twice?
Scientists still do not know for sure, but believe it is unlikely.
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Medical experts believe that people who have had COVID-19 will be immune to re-infection. But they do not know what protection or how long it will last.
There have been reports of people being tested for positive viruses weeks after they were thought to have recovered, leading some to believe they might be re-infected. More likely, experts say people have suffered from the same disease or tests have found remnants of the original infection. There is also the possibility of tests that could be erroneous.
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The researchers said there was no documented case of the patient spreading the virus to other people after retesting the positive.
With the help of such viruses, studies have shown that people can get sick again three months to a year after the first infections. It is too early to know whether this is also possible with coronavirus.
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“It’s a very new science,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, director of the global health program at Boston College.
A small U.S. study published last week also found that antibodies that fight the coronavirus can last only a few months in people with mild illness, suggesting that people may take it again. But antibodies are not the only protection against the virus, and other parts of the immune system can also help provide protection.
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Asking whether re-infection is possible is important. If this can happen, it could undermine the notion of “immunity passports” for returning to work. And it will not do any good for hopes of getting a long-term vaccine.