Can you get the coronavirus twice?
Scientists don't know for sure yet, but they think it's unlikely.
Health experts believe that those with Covid-19 will have some form of immunity against a second infection. But they don't know how much protection is or how long it will last.
There have been reports of people testing positive for the virus weeks after they were believed to have recovered, leading some to think they had been infected a second time. The most likely hypothesis, according to experts, is that they suffered from the same disease or that tests detected remnants of the original infection. In addition, the tests may have yielded false positives.
Scientists say there have been no documented signs that a patient spreads the virus to others after testing positive again.
With similar viruses, the studies They have shown that people can get it again between three months and a year after the first infection. At the moment it is too early to know whether this is also a possibility with coronavirus.
"It is a very emerging science," said Philip Landrigan, director of the global public health program at Boston College.
A small study An American published last week also found that antibodies to the coronavirus could last as little as a few months in people who had mild symptoms of Covid-19, suggesting they could re-catch it. But antibodies are not the only defense against a viruses, and other parts of the immune system could help provide protection.
Settling the question of whether reinfection is a possibility is important. If it can occur, it could undermine the idea of "immunity passports" to return to places And it would not bode well for hopes of a long-lasting vaccine.