Can you get the coronavirus twice?

July 29, 2020

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As we all try to understand the intricacies of the novel coronavirus, one big question is whether or not we can get the virus twice. The Associated Press looked into the question and says scientists don't know definitively yet, but they think it's unlikely. Health experts believe individuals who have had COVID-19 will have some immunity against getting the virus again. They don't, however, know how much immunity or for how long. Some people who have tested positive for the virus weeks after they recovered believe they have been re-infected. But according to experts, it's likelier that those people were still suffering from the same infection or there were remnants of the original illness present. There has been no documented evidence of someone spreading the virus to others after retesting positive. With similar viruses, some people have gotten sick with them again within a year, but it's too early to tell if that can happen with coronavirus. Furthermore, although a new study indicates coronavirus antibodies may only last a few months in someone who had a mild case of the illness, other parts of the immune system could help provide protection. “It’s very much emerging science,” explained Dr. Philip Landrigan, director of the global public health program at Boston College.