The coronavirus patients who recovered and later tested positive for the illness are still discharging dead lung cells. Fortunately, they’re not getting a new infection, according to the WHO. Until now, over 100 such cases have been reported by South Korean health officials in April.
The cases raise a lot of concern that patients who had recovered could become infected again. But, as a WHO spokesperson explained, those patients are expelling what was left in their lungs, as part of the recovery. What should we believe, though?
People infected with COVID-19 developed antibodies beginning a week or so after infection or the at the first signs of symptoms, the research detailed. It’s still not sure, experts stated, whether the body systematically creates enough immunity to protect off a new attack by the coronavirus, or if it does, how much such immunity persists.
Coronavirus Doesn’t Reinfect Cured Patients, But They Can Still Test Positive
As for the patients who recovered, who tested negative and then, after a few weeks, positive, more research is required. The WHO spokesperson explained: “We need a systematic collection of samples from recovered patients to better understand how long they shed the live virus.” Besides this, researchers need to comprehend if the recovered patients can pass the virus to other people.
On the other hand, having a live virus doesn’t mean it can be transmitted to other people.
Maria Van Kerhove is an infectious disease epidemiologist and part of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program and discussed recently in an interview with BBC the “dead cell” scenario.
She stated: “It’s not an infectious virus, it’s not reactivation. It is actually part of the healing process.” Kerhove also talked about how much researchers need to comprehend other significant things if the recovered coronavirus patients have durable protection against reinfection. There are viruses, such as measles, those who contract it become immune for life. For SARS, another coronavirus, the immunity lasted a couple of months or even a few years.