Is it true if you are infected and then recover that you are immune from being infected again?

HappyDude20

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
2,866
286
Los Angeles, Ca
Hearing conflicting reports from different news sources. Some are saying that if you get infected with CoronaVirus and then recover that you are then immune from the virus onward? I’m guessing you can still be a carrier of the virus and infect other ppl as well.

True or not? Seems like if anything someone that gets the corona virus and has a bad month and then recovers can get it again. Clarification is appreciated.
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
18,029
15,970
California
Hearing conflicting reports from different news sources. Some are saying that if you get infected with CoronaVirus and then recover that you are then immune from the virus onward? I’m guessing you can still be a carrier of the virus and infect other ppl as well.

True or not? Seems like if anything someone that gets the corona virus and has a bad month and then recovers can get it again. Clarification is appreciated.
As you said, there are conflicting reports. Normally, if you are infected with a viral disease and recover you are protected from that disease, but some viruses mutate over time. As the virus gets more and more different, you are not immune from new varieties (e.g. the flu, which is different nearly every year). Other diseases, like a cold, have many different viral variations, and immunity from one doesn’t render you immune from the rest.

With corona virus, it doesn’t appear to have mutated yet, and the report of someone getting reinfected appears, based on later reports, to have been incorrect.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,157
4,710
Denmark
Since we've only heard about very very few cases of reinfections, I would expect reinfections to be possible, but very uncommon. Since neutralising antibodies are likely to be targeting different viral epitopes from person to person, there will be varying efficiency of these, and some few people could potentially be reinfected with new variations of the current major strains going around.

But since China appears to have full control at the moment, and starting to get into normal again, I would wager that at least short term immunity is a given. How long lasting it will be we can only guess about, but it is to be expected that this virus will reappear as seasonal epidemics, and since it is an RNA virus, it will likely require new immunity to be as mentioned above with influenza. But again, selection pressure will likely also reduce its pathogenicity significantly, making it less damaging in the long term.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,665
33,524
Boston
Some are saying that if you get infected with CoronaVirus and then recover that you are then immune from the virus onward?
You are infected by the common cold or the flu, yet you can catch later on right? If the virus mutates (which they seem to often), then the body has to produce new different antibodies to fight the mutated virus.

I have no idea where we stand with this bug, but its not something I'd like to test out either
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,078
20,632
The Misty Mountains
Hearing conflicting reports from different news sources. Some are saying that if you get infected with CoronaVirus and then recover that you are then immune from the virus onward? I’m guessing you can still be a carrier of the virus and infect other ppl as well.

True or not? Seems like if anything someone that gets the corona virus and has a bad month and then recovers can get it again. Clarification is appreciated.
Based on what I’ve heard, is that if you get COVID-19 and recover, you are basically immune in that if you are exposed again, while technically being infected again, your body would kill it relative quickly, which in essence what any vaccine does, they cause your body to create anti-bodies that minimize the effect of such a sickness when you contract it. My guess is that the severity of a second exposure would vary from person to person.
 
  • Like
Reactions: compwiz1202

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,085
14,802
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Hearing conflicting reports from different news sources. Some are saying that if you get infected with CoronaVirus and then recover that you are then immune from the virus onward? I’m guessing you can still be a carrier of the virus and infect other ppl as well.

True or not? Seems like if anything someone that gets the corona virus and has a bad month and then recovers can get it again. Clarification is appreciated.
I'm going to speak specifically to the subject title "If you are infected and then recover, that you are immune…"

Others have explained that if a virus mutates your body has to adapt and go through the process again. Which, as explained, is why you can still get a cold or flu.

But the concept of this immunity is central to the idea of vaccinations. It's the whole reason that vaccinations work. If your body did not develop an immunity to a pathogen then there'd be zero reason to have vaccinations. Yet we do.

I had Chicken Pox when I was 6 months old. Too young to get the vaccination and I don't believe it was available yet at that time (1970). But I am immune to Chicken Pox now. That's one example.

If you're an anti-vaxxer though then I don't know what to say.
 

HappyDude20

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
2,866
286
Los Angeles, Ca
If you're an anti-vaxxer though then I don't know what to say.
ImNot an anti-vaxxer in any sense of the word.

I met one a few years ago. She was 23 years old and she believed crystals and sage were more effective. Haven’t spoken to her in years but am sure she’s probably grabbing the Clorox and alcohol disinfectants right now.
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,288
Silicon Valley
I can't locate my source for this, but it's believed that the handful of cases in which someone appeared to get re-infected wasn't actually a re-infection, but rather that they either were still infected and tested negative or that the test was still detecting the weakened virus in their system shortly after they no longer had any symptoms. People who were discharged from hospitals in China were instructed to resume quarantine for (I think) 2 weeks.

The current consensus is that yes you do have immunity, but it's unknown how permanent that immunity is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AustinIllini

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,326
749
It appears that a few sources are working on vaccines and may have something in the near future. Most interesting seem to be the one coming out of Israel that supposedly turns the virus into (or its symptoms) to something akin to a common cold. As for this particular virus, there is no typical immunity generated from a subject which means it would be possible to get it again and again and more so if variants start to appear.
 
  • Like
Reactions: baypharm

TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,179
713
I had Chicken Pox when I was 6 months old. Too young to get the vaccination and I don't believe it was available yet at that time (1970). But I am immune to Chicken Pox now. That's one example.
For people who have had it, a recurrence isn't the problem. The virus that causes it remains in your body, in a dormant state.

That puts you at risk of Shingles, which is worse, as an adult.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stella and phrehdd

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,085
14,802
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
That puts you at risk of Shingles, which is worse, as an adult.
Yes…and with a compromised immune system, such as what Psoriasis provides, it can show up easier. It's taken me almost two years to fully recover sensitivity in one area on my right side because of Shingles. The bitch is that the rash is hard to distinguish amongst a Psoriasis patch.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: compwiz1202

decafjava

macrumors 68040
Feb 7, 2011
3,464
3,161
Geneva
It appears that a few sources are working on vaccines and may have something in the near future. Most interesting seem to be the one coming out of Israel that supposedly turns the virus into (or its symptoms) to something akin to a common cold. As for this particular virus, there is no typical immunity generated from a subject which means it would be possible to get it again and again and more so if variants start to appear.
Source please?
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
22,061
8,470
CT
If you are healthy you might not even have any symptoms, but you will be a carrier and could give it to someone who is at a higher risk. Chance of recurrence would most likely depend on how good your immune system is.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,326
749
Source please?
You are unable to do a simple web engine search? Here are 3 that popped up immediately. I know there are some more clinical sites that will say similar.



 

TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,179
713
Yes…and with a compromised immune system, such as what Psoriasis provides, it can show up easier. It's taken me almost two years to fully recover sensitivity in one area on my right side because of Shingles. The bitch is that the rash is hard to distinguish amongst a Psoriasis patch.
Right. I carry a similar risk, but I didn't want anyone to get the impression that, based on the example, that one is necessarily free and clear, when there is the risk of even greater consequences down the line.

And at this stage, there are no definitive conclusions to be drawn with regard to COVID-19 to begin with. There is still much to be determined.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

max2

macrumors 68040
May 31, 2015
3,344
721
Not really.

Though I just realized something or maybe I am stupid.

The easiest way to catch the virus is on your mobile device most likely sense we bring the device home with us and continue to use it. We put out hands on it constantly even after touching doors, stair handles (at least if you touch them I rarely do unless I am feel like I am going to fall), etc.

Maybe I am wrong.
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,288
Silicon Valley
You are unable to do a simple web engine search?
You do realize that this kind of info isn't like asking Google what the capital of Idaho is, yeah? Just taking the first three results off the top of Google for a topic as difficult as the Coronavirus may not yield dependable results.

Here are 3 that popped up immediately. I know there are some more clinical sites that will say similar.
Well, could you be so kind as to track down the clinical sources because some of the links you posted aren't known to be very credible sources for this type of information.
- - Post merged: - -

No. You can't get reinfected as stated by the WHO and reported by the South China Morning Post. [South China Morning Post]

It appears like you can get reinfected because you can test positive for the virus weeks after you've recovered, but the test results in a weak positive and they're not able to harvest viable virus from the subjects. [StatNews]

One of the interesting things they're finding is that people who get Covid-19 are extremely contagious immediately before the onset of symptoms or right at the start of symptoms before they start to feel really bad and this might be why it's so hard to control. By the time people are sure they're sick, they've likely infected other people. [StatNews]
 
  • Like
Reactions: compwiz1202
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.