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S/O Covid Reinfections


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I didn't want to derail the "Would you/have you" thread but thought this deserved a spot of its own.

Do you think the idea that reinfections are rare will hold up over time? Do you think that evidence will show that current thinking on this (that reinfections are rare) will change with more time & data? What effect might the idea of reinfections have on Covid precautions or vaccines?

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/oct/19/state-health-officials-studying-covid-19-reinfecti/

(Washington) "State health officials are looking at about 100 cases of COVID-19 in state residents who have tested positive a second time with hopes they can learn more about reinfections."

https://www.kgns.tv/2020/10/23/two-covid-cases-being-treated-as-reinfections/

"The Laredo (Texas) health authority is treating not one, but two cases that are being investigated as clinical reinfections."

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/17/covid-reinfections-to-be-expected-as-virus-spreads-say-government-scientists

"Researchers on the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium said it was unclear at what point people who had recovered from the virus became vulnerable to reinfection, but cited emerging reports of second infections that suggested the timeframe was “relatively short”."

"Doctors have reported nearly two dozen cases of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 reinfections, but the real number is thought to be far higher, since most reinfections are not recorded."

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My gut hasn’t received enough evidence to have any sort of feeling yet.

When looking into it last week, I had read that no reinfections had been found to transmit to others the second time, but ds’s grandfather tested positive with the infection most likely (by, like, a lot) coming from his wife’s second positive.  Everything around immunity seems very fuzzy right now.

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No way. Dr Fauci said at the beginning that for all other Coronaviruses that are known to infect humans immunity typically lasts less than 90 days. For that reason I think the assumption should be immunity doesn’t last and we should wait until proven otherwise.
 

Chances are even a vaccine won’t work long but over a few years it will evolve into something less deadly and we’ll end up with seasonal shots like the flu. 

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42 minutes ago, Katy said:

No way. Dr Fauci said at the beginning that for all other Coronaviruses that are known to infect humans immunity typically lasts less than 90 days. For that reason I think the assumption should be immunity doesn’t last and we should wait until proven otherwise.
 

Chances are even a vaccine won’t work long but over a few years it will evolve into something less deadly and we’ll end up with seasonal shots like the flu. 

This is what I’m presuming with what we currently know. 

It’s one reason why from the very start I said antibody testing is meaningless. We don’t know yet how much antibody we need to be immune, or how long the antibodies last at that level. The most it says is we came into contact with Covid.  That’s it. Doesn’t mean we won’t get sick from Covid in the future or that we won’t have negative out comes from  Covid. No expectation that feeling fine with antibodies today won’t mean a hospital visit due to Covid next week.

For me, the big concern this all brings up, is how drastic this will affect the health of future generations for those 10-40% (it’s a crazy wild guesstimate currently) that turn out to have lingering affects of Covid. Everyone is focusing on deaths, which I get that is the ultimate concern, but the numbers of people who seem to have months-long or possibly permanent health problems that affect their daily life is what concerns me most.

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2 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

Everyone is focusing on deaths, which I get that is the ultimate concern, but the numbers of people who seem to have months-long or possibly permanent health problems that affect their daily life is what concerns me most.

Agreed. This is why I'm not up for getting infected and getting it over with, lol. I almost certainly won't die. Will I have lingering effects? Who knows. 

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My gut feel, based only on anecdotal stories is that reinfection to symptomatic levels will remain low, but there may be a larger group that reinfect asymptomatically, but still a small percentage overall, say 10%.

I don't think it will change much re: precautions. Masks may be around a lot longer than I initially thought.

This is my totally unscientific opinion based on how queasy I get when I consider the question of being able to come down with COVID multiple times, and open to change as more data becomes available.

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I am not sure.  A couple things I've read indicate that if we have t-cell immunity and antibodies wane, you may get another infection and test positive.  However, potentially your t-cells would kick in earlier to keep the infection more at the level of a cold if you have a healthy immune system.  At least a couple severe reinfections I've read about were in people undergoing cancer treatments that were wiping out their immune systems.  It's also possible if you have a low grade exposure and tested positive but had low viral load, maybe you didn't develop t-cell immunity.  Which could also develop into another infection.  That could be milder OR more severe depending on viral load and other health factors.  No one is measuring t-cell responses regularly right now.  There was a study that showed strong t-cell durability for SARS and MERS .  We do have a couple other coronaviruses that are common colds. I wonder what those looked like in humans the first couple years they were circulating?  

Anyway- I think we are seeing really incomplete data and don't know nearly enough to say.  I hope someone is doing an more organized study of data and health profiles of those who appear to get infected twice.  

I'm also very concerned about long term affects.  Especially since I know 2 middle aged women struggling with them.  Oh and both of them have struggled to get follow up care after covid.  Don't even get me started on that.  I am holding out as long as possible.  But I am also reasonably optimistic a vaccine will help and hopefully new protocols and therapeutics as well.  However, neither of the women with long term affects were admitted to the hospital for their initial illness so unless they have therapeutics widely available for at home use I'm not planning on getting this prior to a vaccine.  

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37 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I'm also very concerned about long term affects.  Especially since I know 2 middle aged women struggling with them. 

Oh, I'm sorry 😞 . Did you post on the Personal Experiences thread? 

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5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oh, I'm sorry 😞 . Did you post on the Personal Experiences thread? 

You know I haven't.  I've been hesitant to post 2nd or 3rd hand stories when I don't have complete info.  😕  I know one mom friend has had to travel to major hospitals to go to newly established post covid clinics.  The other I think has some specialist appointments lined up but has to wait for those.  

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Authorities are in the "stamp-collecting" phase of counting covid reinfections that can be genomically verified. However, two out of the four genomically verified reinfections have been asymptomatic and two have been disease (including one death).

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30764-7/fulltext

https://www.google.com/search?q=covid+reinfection+death&rlz=1C1JZAP_enUS905US905&oq=covid+reinfection+death&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i19l5j69i60l2.4063j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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I think it will be like other similar viruses and the immunity will be 3-9 months.  I think it's really early to say infection is rare since testing has been spotty at best so far.  I fully expect it to be like the flu and that shots will be required regularly.   

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My gut feeling is that as time progresses there will be more reinfections simply because currently the longest interval possible is around 11 months...  

with time we will see reinfections from initial infection 100 days ago and also reinfections from initial infection 380 days ago .

 I am suspicious of several reinfections reported with intervals of less than two weeks.  

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1 hour ago, FuzzyCatz said:

You know I haven't.  I've been hesitant to post 2nd or 3rd hand stories when I don't have complete info.  😕  I know one mom friend has had to travel to major hospitals to go to newly established post covid clinics.  The other I think has some specialist appointments lined up but has to wait for those.  

We definitely have 2nd hand stuff. I think if you're sure the story is credible, you can post. The only thing I ask is that you post everyone you know, not just people who have serious illnesses, for sampling reasons. 

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I had antibodies in the spring, unless the test was wrong(which is possible).  Then last month I did not have antibodies(which also could be wrong).  Regardless, I was exposed and now have Covid symtoms including loss of taste and smell, which is pretty indicative that it’s Covid vs something else.  I’m quarantining anyway so not going to test until the end of the week as I need a negative to return to work(so many people on the last shift I work have tested positive that they want everyone who worked that night to be 14 days past exposure and a negative test).

I think it’s highly likely that there’s limited immunity, like other coronaviruses, but that our memory cells are able to keep it at a milder, cold like disease the second time around.  This is basically what Dr Fauci and other scientists I have read have been saying, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that Covid-19 is remarkably different than other coronaviruses.

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50 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I had antibodies in the spring, unless the test was wrong(which is possible).  Then last month I did not have antibodies(which also could be wrong).  Regardless, I was exposed and now have Covid symtoms including loss of taste and smell, which is pretty indicative that it’s Covid vs something else.  I’m quarantining anyway so not going to test until the end of the week as I need a negative to return to work(so many people on the last shift I work have tested positive that they want everyone who worked that night to be 14 days past exposure and a negative test).

I think it’s highly likely that there’s limited immunity, like other coronaviruses, but that our memory cells are able to keep it at a milder, cold like disease the second time around.  This is basically what Dr Fauci and other scientists I have read have been saying, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that Covid-19 is remarkably different than other coronaviruses.

Yeah, your case seems like you pretty clearly have had two cases.  You had serious illness in the spring, along with ground glass opacity in the lungs, plus antibodies, and now once again classic symptoms.  

It's really concerning to me and makes me worry about vaccine efficacy if infection doesn't provide protection for even six months.  

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2 hours ago, Terabith said:

Yeah, your case seems like you pretty clearly have had two cases.  You had serious illness in the spring, along with ground glass opacity in the lungs, plus antibodies, and now once again classic symptoms.  

It's really concerning to me and makes me worry about vaccine efficacy if infection doesn't provide protection for even six months.  

Vaccine immunity is different from regular immunity. It can create higher antibody levels, and longer immunity. 

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3 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I had antibodies in the spring, unless the test was wrong(which is possible).  Then last month I did not have antibodies(which also could be wrong).  Regardless, I was exposed and now have Covid symtoms including loss of taste and smell, which is pretty indicative that it’s Covid vs something else.  I’m quarantining anyway so not going to test until the end of the week as I need a negative to return to work(so many people on the last shift I work have tested positive that they want everyone who worked that night to be 14 days past exposure and a negative test).

I think it’s highly likely that there’s limited immunity, like other coronaviruses, but that our memory cells are able to keep it at a milder, cold like disease the second time around.  This is basically what Dr Fauci and other scientists I have read have been saying, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that Covid-19 is remarkably different than other coronaviruses.

Yeah, your case is pretty darn convincing that this isn't uncommon 😕 . 

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This is really concerning. I fear that we don't know enough yet how reinfections work for most people to tell if a previous exposure is protective or a new risk factor. What about long covid....twice? 

I wonder if the vaccines will eventually be like RSV where at risk people have to go back every month for a new shot. I know RSV is not technically a vaccine, but the timing of having to go every month or every few months could be similar. 

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2 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Vaccine immunity is different from regular immunity. It can create higher antibody levels, and longer immunity. 

Why?  I've never heard of vaccines providing more immunity than full on infection with the actual virus.  

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15 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Vaccine immunity is different from regular immunity. It can create higher antibody levels, and longer immunity. 

 

12 hours ago, Terabith said:

Why?  I've never heard of vaccines providing more immunity than full on infection with the actual virus.  

Wellll yes and no. 
 

For example, the flu vaccine does boost your immunity BUT only for a few months tops. There’s a reason it is strategically given in late September or early October to combat peak flu season in November - January. But for many people by February or March the effectiveness has waned considerably. Though if they get it later in effectiveness,  it will likely be milder.  And it takes 2-3 weeks to reach that immunity too.  So some people do get the flu after getting the shot - Not because it didn’t work or it gave them the flu but because they came into contact with flu before the immunity had taken affect. 
 

People seem to think vaccines are a better miracle than they are. Like an instantaneous force field. It isn’t. But that does not mean it is not effective and still an amazing medical improvement to society. 
 

Just yesterday I had a discussion about effective rates. Let’s say the first Covid vax is only 30-40% effective. That’s amazingly affective. Obviously higher numbers would be better, but a reduction by 30-40% IS amazing. Just take the current numbers in hospital or missing work and do the math in just how many 30-40% would be. That’s a LOT of lives improved. 

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16 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yeah, your case is pretty darn convincing that this isn't uncommon 😕 . 

This is so much lighter though. I thought I was dying in April.  I just feel sort of run down with a headache and malaise.  With my super limited knowledge of immunology, it would make sense to me that having memory cells would probably result in a milder infection.

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1 minute ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

This is so much lighter though. I thought I was dying in April.  I just feel sort of run down with a headache and malaise.  With my super limited knowledge of immunology, it would make sense to me that having memory cells would probably result in a milder infection.

I hope you feel better soon and it turns out to be a mild case. And come post about it on the other thread if you get a positive test... 

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https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.14.20212720v1
 

This preprint paper claims to be an analysis of 235 reinfections.  (Criteria was a month between positive PCR tests so I’m not sure how they rule out persistence of viral shedding).  
 

“Results: The risk of severe disease was 14.7% and the observed overall fatality rate was 4.3%. Patients with more serious primary disease were more likely to develop severe symptoms (39.5% vs. 5.5%, p < 0.001) during reinfection. In multiple analysis, factors associated with an increased risk of severe symptomatic SARS-COV-2 reinfection were increasing age (RR per year = 1.007, 95% CI 1.003-1.010), comorbidities (namely obesity [RR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.01-1.24], asthma [RR = 1.26, 95% CI 1.06-1.50], type 2 diabetes mellitus [RR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.07 - 1.38] and previous severe laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 (RR = 1.20, 95% CI 1.03-1.39). Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge this is the first study evaluating disease outcomes in a large set of laboratory-positive cases of symptomatic SARS-COV-2 reinfection and factors associated with illness severity was characterized. Our results may contribute to the current knowledge of SARS-COV-2 pathogenicity and to identify populations at increased risk of a poorer outcome after reinfection.”

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