Can recovered patients get coronavirus again? Here’s what top virologist Ian Lipkin has to say

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Speaking exclusively with India Today, Ian Lipkin scientists are working on the assumption that once you have contracted the coronavirus, you will develop immunity for it post recovery.

Can one be reinfected by Covid-19? According to world-renowned virologist Dr Ian Lipkin, there is no clear answer to this question at the moment. (Photo: Bandeep Singh/India Today)

As the world fights a tough battle against coronavirus, a growing source of worry is that patients who were previously considered cured are testing positive for Covid-19 again.

Can one be reinfected by Covid-19? According to world-renowned virologist Dr Ian Lipkin, there is no clear answer to this question at the moment.

Speaking exclusively with India Today, Lipkin suggested that while there is no confirmed data to prove coronavirus cannot reoccur in a recovered patient, scientists are working on the assumption that once you have contracted the virus, you will develop immunity for it post recovery.

“We are working with the analogy of other diseases that if you have Covid-19 once you won’t get it again for several months. Hopefully, this will carry us to the point where we have an effective vaccine,” he said.

When asked to comment on cases where recovered patients were exhibiting symptoms again, he said that there are two possibilities for such cases.

“There are two possibilities. One that people who were thought to have Covid-19 initially didn’t have it but got it for the first time when tested later. Another possibility is that they were subsequently found to be positive because they never really recovered,” Lipkin explained.

According to the virologist, such cases may be the result of errors in testing. “Different tests have different levels of capability. Every country needs to ensure that their tests are accurate and sampling is done properly. These are not foolproof tests,” he said.

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About the author: Sohom Das
Founder of Tuccho.

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