Can you get coronavirus twice? – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS is continuing to sweep the globe – with almost 500,000 cases worldwide in 182 countries.

Yet, among the confirmed cases, the latest figures how more than 89,000 people, many of whom are in China where the virus originated, have managed to recover from the deadly illness.

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However, while the recovery rate is promising, it does not mean that those who have been infected with coronavirus are not still at risk.

And experts say having the virus once does not mean you cannot get sick from it again.

According to a new report from doctors on the front lines of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, where the virus emerged, as many as ten per cent of recovered coronavirus patients in China tested positive again after being discharged from hospital.

The medics reported that between three and ten per cent of cured patients became reinfected with the illness, though it’s unclear whether they were contagious the second time, the South China Morning Post reported.

Tongji Hospital, which identified the first Covid-19 case, confirmed that five of 145 patients — a little over three per cent — tested positive again in nucleic acid tests, according to state broadcaster CCTV.


"So far there is no evidence to suggest that they are infectious," said Wang Wei, the hospital’s president.

He said the five patients who tested positive again did not have any symptoms and none of their close contacts had been infected.

Mr Wang added that surveillance of similar patients showed that 80 to 90 per cent had no trace of the virus in their system one month after being discharged from the hospital.

Despite this, he admitted these are just “small samples” and “not enough to assure us of the validity of our initial findings”.

“We need a large-scale epidemiological study to guide our disease surveillance and prevention works,” Mr Wang said.


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Meanwhile, other quarantine facilities in Wuhan have seen about five to ten per cent of their recovered patients test positive again.

The findings were reported by the health news outlet Life Times, which is affiliated with state-run newspaper People’s Daily.

The studies come after both Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, and Prof Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson’s chief medical adviser, sought to reassure the public.

They claimed those who have had the virus once will develop some immunity – and it is rare to get an infectious disease again.

Sir Vallance revealed some people do catch infectious diseases a second time, but that it is rare and he added that there was no evidence to suggest that it would occur with the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Prof Whitty explained that with diseases, even if there is no long-term immunity, there is normally some short-term immunity.

TV's Dr Hilary Jones, said there currently isn't enough evidence to say if you caught Covid-19 and recovered whether you'd be immune for life, or whether you could you catch it again.

He told The Sun: "Currently we don’t know enough about this virus to say for sure that you can’t get it twice but it is unlikely.

"If it turns out to be like seasonal flu it’s possible there might be another round of virus next winter, as we don’t know yet how strong people’s immunity will be.

"We will know more in the future and soon a test will become available to show whether someone has had the virus and has developed immunity."

Public Health England yesterday revealed coronavirus home test kits could be available in a matter of weeks.

The finger-prick test, which detects antibodies to the virus in the blood, is able to determine if someone has or has already had Covid-19.

When a person gets infected by the virus, the body starts making specially designed proteins called antibodies to fight the infection.

This the new at-home test would reveal if someone has had the bug and built up immunity, and is therefore unlikely to catch it again.

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