Experts say we shouldn't worry for now.
There have been a few cases where a patient got sick with the coronavirus after already recovering. But experts say we shouldn't worry for now.
Artur Debat via Getty ImagesThe United States reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection, which was more severe than the patient's first bout of the illness.Theof COVID-19 reinfection in the United States was announced this week. A 25-year-old Nevada man tested positive for the virus in April, recovered, then fell ill and tested positive again in June.
His situation, which was described ina case report in The Lancetthis week, has grabbed headlines for many reasons. The man was young and healthy with no underlying conditions. He not only contracted COVID-19 twice, but his subsequent infection was much more serious. He developed breathing problems and had to be hospitalized.
It’s not the only reinfection case generating attention.This week researchers also reportedthe first death of a patient who was reinfected with COVID-19: An 89-year-old Dutch woman who was undergoing chemotherapy.Together, the two cases — which join a handful of other reports describing reinfection — paint an unsettling picture. Not only is it possible to contract COVID-19 more than once, the second round can be severe. headtopics.com
But experts also caution against worrying too much about these recent developments, for several reasons. Here are a few to keep in mind.The measures that protect against initial COVID-19 infectionalsoprotect against reinfection.Since the early on in the pandemic, health officials have emphasized that we simply do not know all that much about COVID-19 immunity. Some
experts believe that about 90%of people who get infected and who are symptomatic will have enough antibodies to fight off another exposure to the virus.But that is really a best guess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention went out of its way this summer to
clarify thatno one really knows exactly how COVID-19 immunity works, or how long it might last. Given that reinfection is possible, it is important for people to continue taking a layered approach to prevention ― even after they’ve been ill and recovered.
“Until there’s a vaccine that is proven to be safe and effective, the public health measuresneedto stay in place,” said Alvin Tran, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. “That means we need to continue wearing masks properly in public settings, practice social distancing and wash our hands frequently.” headtopics.com
“Those who have been previously infected with COVID-19 and have recovered are not totally out of the woods,” he added.Reinfection seems to be really rare for now.It’s difficult for doctors and researchers to gauge exactly how widespread COVID-19 reinfection is. For one, while testing in the U.S. has certainly improved in recent months,
experts have repeatedly said thatwe’re still not doing enough of it. That means that we’re not only likely to be missing people’s first infections, we could also be missing those who’ve been infected a second time.Despite that, infectious disease experts are confident saying they believe reinfection is extremely uncommon. So far, there have only been a handful of confirmed reinfections around the world — and more than
. Here in the U.S., there has been one Read more: HuffPost »
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