There are many stories going around about a person who had previously had the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 becoming infected again. This seems prevalent in the first responders and hospital care professionals. Are they true? Is it the same virus? Is it a case of mistaken identity – having influenza and then COVID-19?
Medical researchers want proof that a virus can and did infect a person twice. You must have the molecular details of the virus recorded the first time you were infected and then again after the second infection. Those samples and analyses are not typically done.
The corollary to the question about getting the infection twice is how long does our body’s immunity last? If it last five or ten years, then it would seem impossible to catch COVID-19 twice in one year. If the viral immunity last six months, then we all should expect to live in a COVID-19 pandemic for decades to come!
Today, Researchers at the University of Hong Kong reported what is thought to be the first coronavirus reinfection. A genomic-sequence analysis was done on an infected 33-year-old in April of this year and again when symptoms reappeared recently. The reinfection was from two different strains of the coronavirus.
We know that there are a few viruses that cause the common cold and we catch the cold over again during our lifetime. Is it the same virus responsible? We do not track that data either. If it were the same viral source, then our immunity can easily be less than a few years.
Colds can sometimes be overcome in a week and a few can linger for nearly a month. Can it be a different strain of the cold virus? Most likely! Our immune systems work well against known antigens. There is a clock that clicks, and booster shots are given
Booster shots are required to increase our immunity to the original protective level. It is not uncommon to get booster shots for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, HPV, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and influenza.
There is no vaccine for COVID-19 now, but one case in twenty-four million infected people on earth might bring rise to thinking booster shots for COVID-19 in the future. We must get an effective CVODI-19 vaccine first.
We may have an immunity to a disease and still pass on that disease to others. There are many unknowns. It is thought that a recurrence of the same disease, even a different strain, would be a milder case since our body has had exposure to the virus before.
There may not even be symptoms with the second infection! This is like the current situation with asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic COVID-19 infections. Imagine suffering through COVID-19, being quarantined, surviving it, then catching it again, and maybe passing it on to another person? Possible? I do not know, but it appears remotely possible.
For those people who had the virus earlier in the year and then have recurring symptoms, the conundrum is whether the new infection is truly a new or reinfection or whether they are lingering vestiges of the earlier disease. This may be the case with first resonders and hospital care professionals. Their stress levels are high and constant. We continue to learn more daily.
The genetic makeup of each person is different, and our immunities vary weekly. The effectiveness of our immune system determines the level of infection of any disease – from no symptoms to severe. No different with COVID-19!
More research will be collected and analyzed. The recommendations that were made three or four months ago are not the same today. We learn more and advise accordingly. The death rate of COVID-19 patients on ventilators is substantially less than it was just 90 days ago.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com