Millions of people across the globe have recovered from COVID-19 and one of their primary concerns is whether they can get re-infected by the Novel Coronavirus.
There have been multiple instances of people recovering from Corona Virus infection, but have tested positive again, raising fears of re-infection.
As of now, scientists are unable to say whether re-infection is possible, and if so, after how much time. They are also unsure whether a previously infected person becomes immune to reinfection.
Even though few cases of reinfection have been reported from India, United States, Hong Kong and Europs, scientists say there is no reason for alarm yet.
“Since we do not yet know how frequent reinfections are, it is difficult to say what these findings mean for the success of a vaccination campaign,” says noted Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst, addressing concerns that reinfection might also have an impact over the vaccination programme in future.
A 35-year-old government doctor in Chennai who had tested positive for COVID-19 in May and had recovered, has now been infected again, according to the officials.
On the other hand, Bengaluru has reported its first case of coronavirus reinfection – a 27-year-old woman who had first tested positive in July and was discharged upon full recovery from a mild form of the disease.
Tests show that the patient in question did not have any comorbidities, and also that she did not develop any immunity towards the novel coronavirus.
“This is possibly the first reported case of COVID reinfection in Bangalore. Normally, in case of infection, the Covid Immunoglobulin G antibody test comes positive after 2-3 weeks of infection. However, in this patient, the antibody test came out negative, which means she did not develop immunity after first infection. The other possibility is that the antibodies disappeared within a month, which has left her susceptible for reinfection,” Dr Pratik Patil, an Infectious Diseases Consultant at Fortis Hospital’s Bannerghatta Road facility said.
In more cases of reinfection, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation reported four cases of COVID-19 reinfection between August 18 and September 6, nearly four months after they tested positive for the first time.
World Health Organisation’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan, also shared an article which talks about COVID reinfection in patients, but says its no cause for alarm yet. It also states the chances of reinfection is not very common.
Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection Highlight the Limitations — and the Mysteries — of Our Immune System – https://t.co/T0wzfgmOBo— Soumya Swaminathan (@doctorsoumya) September 6, 2020
The finding raises worrying questions about controlling the pandemic as cases continue to rise across the world with over 27.4 million people infected by COVID. It also raises questions about the duration for which a vaccine would remain effective.