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New Study Reveals Covid-19 Reinfection is Real Especially in Younger People  

What is worse than getting COVID-19? Getting Covid-19 reinfection after recovering from it once. Although many people even researchers believe it is impossible to get this infection twice, however, the latest study shows that the virus has a higher chance of infecting a person again especially if it is a younger patient.

Contracting the virus and recovering from it once doesn’t ensure that the virus will not hit a person again. According to a small-sized and preliminary study, younger people can get Covid-19 reinfection, even after testing negative previously.

These finds are made by analyzing the data obtained from 3,250 individuals who were recruited in the U.S. Marine during the period of May and October 2020. From these people, nearly 189 were diagnosed positive for the virus and within the six-week-long study, 10% of these people got COVID-19 reinfection.

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Recovering from the virus once doesn’t give a person a free card that he can never get through all this trouble again just because he has got it once, already and his body has made antibodies and stored them.

These findings are currently published in the medRXiv (preprint version) and are not reviewed yet.

All these people who were a part of this study received basic training and were kept in a quarantine center of the navy for nearly two weeks, which started after a pre-quarantine at home, which lasted for two more weeks.

Once they started their training, all of them were subjected to the Covid-19 test after every 14 days, for six months in a row. The results were compiled after six weeks which showed that 19 among 189 people who previously recovered from the Covid-19 were infected again within six months of this training.

Fortunately, the research team was able to diagnose and compare both strains which infected and reinfected these trainees with Covid-19. It was the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and none of these patients reportedly had the deadly UK-variant, Brazilian variant, or the South African variant of the Covid-19.

Also read- Home-based Isolation is Hard for Old Age Covid-19 Patients in the US

All other participants (2,247) who were previously tested negative were then tested positive (1,079) during this training. It shows that people who had a history of Covid-19 were at risk to get it again along with all other people who were never infected with the virus before. However, nearly all of these Covid-19 positive patients reported only mild symptoms and none of them experienced severe symptoms or was hospitalized for any complication. Interestingly, all of them reported the same risk and duration of infection, with and without the previous history of being infected with the virus.

There was only one difference that the viral load (based on the swabs used for Covid-19 testing) was different in both groups. Marines who were experiencing Covid-19 reinfection showed lesser viral particles on their swabs as compared to other trainees who got it for the first time during the training.

These results imply that the presence o antibodies doesn’t ensure protection against Covid-19 reinfection. If a person had it one time and fails to comply with preventive measures and hygiene practices, there are high chances that he will get it again. As this study targeted young trainees, for now, this risk is only applicable to younger people.

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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