In Russia and the world, cases of re-infection with coronavirus are recorded. If earlier this was considered rather an exceptional case, today experts admit that a relapse of COVID-19 is no longer uncommon. Having been ill once does not mean getting one hundred percent immunity.
For the first time, Lyubov Lymar fell ill with coronavirus in March after returning from Thailand. Resuscitation, 25% of lung damage. It seemed that the terrible was over, but suddenly again - the already familiar pain in the chest. A month ago, COVID was confirmed again, but in a mild form.
“I still cannot breathe calmly, because it’s scary. I still have chest pains and shortness of breath,”she says.
Re-infection has not spared many doctors: after an illness, therapist Tatyana Kim is now recovering. She had an asymptomatic illness in the spring, and at the end of the year, COVID returned with a high fever.
“Overnight, I became a patient addicted to oxygen, and even two or three steps is an insurmountable task,” says Kim.
Physicians are at risk, since dangerous contacts are part of their job. But it is doctors who can answer the main question: why, along with the number of cases, the number of re-infected is also growing?
“If the disease was mild and asymptomatic, then we have strong immunity in fewer cases, and if a person has a serious condition with a high fever, there is a greater chance that the immune system is stronger,” explains Ancha Baranova, professor at the School of Systems Biology at George Mason University. …
Doctors revealed a dependence on the form in which the disease proceeded. Different people have different immune responses. If you have had an asymptomatic illness, the likelihood of re-infection, already with serious consequences, is greater. So the actor Gosha Kutsenko twice entered the fight against the coronavirus. In the spring, he did not even feel a slight malaise, and in the winter with repeated COVID, the actor ended up in the hospital.
A second disease was also detected in the State Duma deputies. According to Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, five people did not develop antibodies, they are now in quarantine. Among them is Artur Chilingarov, a famous explorer of the Arctic, first vice-president of the Russian Geographical Society. He is 81 years old.
“This beast that bites the most vulnerable, probably … Everything is fine, I comply with all the conditions, I wear a mask,” he says.
The head of the Republic of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, also had to defeat COVID-19 twice.
“The second time at the end of August I fell ill, this time there were symptoms of severe, severe headache. In the end, it was diagnosed that I had pneumonia, a month in the hospital flew by like one day,”he recalls.
Re-infection signals come from all over the world. Even if there are antibodies, their number gradually decreases, and in a few months it reaches a level that is no longer able to protect against re-infection.
“In short, you can get sick again, but it's rare. Out of the millions of cases, several dozen re-illnesses have been reported … Antibodies, according to studies, remain at least seven months after illness, and this is good news,”said Sumiya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist.
The good news is that most people do develop this kind of immunity, the bad news is that no one knows how long it will actually work.
“If the immune system is poor, immunity to the corona may not be developed. There is also a problem with drug treatment for severe COVID illnesses. In both outpatient and inpatient care, a mild hormone is used.These factors contribute to the fact that the immunity against the corona is poorly developed,”explains the immunologist Vladimir Bolibok.
Scientists still have a lot to learn about the coronavirus and our immune response. But one thing is already clear: even a person who has recovered can again become a carrier of the virus and should be on their guard.