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Covid-19 may not happen twice: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 31, 2020

Though there are cases of first time symptomatic, and second time asymptomatic

A new case of coronavirus reinfection in Hong Kong has raised concerns over the second wave of the ongoing pandemic in the world.

According to a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, a 33-year-old man had developed symptoms of the coronavirus in March. However, he remained asymptomatic when he was infected again with the virus.

An earlier study by JJ Hospital also suggested that the antibodies against the virus wear off in two months.

However, according to a recent Hindustan Times report, a prolonged viral shedding could be taking place in people who have recovered from the virus.

Dr Anurag Agrawal, Director, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, told HT: “We are now beginning to see cases of re-infection, but till now we have not had a true re-infection where a person was symptomatic the first time, and symptomatic the second time. We only have cases of symptomatic the first time, and asymptomatic the second time. True reinfection with a patient who is twice symptomatic has not yet occurred.”

Another health expert quoted in the report explained that it may have found that antibodies decline in a period of three months. New infection can still be recognised by the memory B cells and T cells that help in the rapid response against SARS-CoV-2. So, while it may not help prevent an attack by the virus, it can prevent the virus from causing any damage to the body.

This can also be corroborated by the latest advisory from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which stated: “If the person who has recovered is retested within three months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading Covid-19.”

This means that patients who have recuperated from the virus may have low levels of SARS-CoV-2 in their bodies for up to three months after diagnosis.

Published on August 31, 2020

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