Can you catch coronavirus twice?

Published by Charlene S. · Published on 23 April 2020 at 17h33 · Updated on 24 April 2020 at 14h43
This is a question many people ask after some patients cured have been tested positive for coronavirus another time.

Can you catch coronavirus twice? If this question worries more than one person, scientists are more hesitant. As herd immunity is currently subject to debate, there is no definitive and complete answer about this novel coronavirus. Health authorities say that usually speaking, a patient who has been infected by this kind of virus generates then antibodies enabling them to fight against the infection. These antibodies stay in the organism for a while. This is the case for flu where immunity is generated by antibodies and can stay up to several months.

Yet, facts question all we know about covid-19 virus. In China and in Japan, several patients seem to have caught the virus again after being reportedly cured. According to Japan Times, in late February, a forty-year-old woman has been tested positive another time, ten days after being cured in a health center in Osaka. But this is not an isolated case since other cases like this one have been reported.

Several hypotheses emerged. Doctors say it could be a diagnostic mistake during the first test performed on patients or that reinfection is milder because it often reappears locally like in the nose. Other hypotheses say that these people have been wrongly reported cured. According to other doctors, it is highly likely that these patients simply do not generate enough antibodies to fight against the virus. In the meantime, the World Health Organization (WHO) wishes to put an end to preconceived ideas and remind on their official website that “You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus does not mean you will have it for life”.


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