US President Donald Trump sparked heated debates among the scientific community after he stated that he is immune to the virus after having COVID-19 once, as this may not be the case.
More than 38 million people have been infected by COVID-19 across the world, but less than 12 reinfections have been observed by now. While the rate is incredibly low for now, research has shown that there is a chance to get the virus again after several weeks or months since the first infection took place.
The first reinfection case observed in the US was recorded in Nevada in August. After a COVID-19 diagnostic in April, the man recovered and spent a few months feeling well. However, he began to feel ill in August and was diagnosed with COVID-19 again after being tested.
A similar trend was observed in the case of a woman from Hong Kong who was diagnosed with COVID-19 twice this year and an old woman from the Netherlands who died after getting the virus again, becoming the only known person who died after being reinfected.
Recent research has noted that COVID-19 immunity can last for at least five months, thanks to the appearance of antibodies. People who were infected with the original SARS virus have remained immune to it even if the virus vanished more than 17 years ago. It is also thought that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies could persist for up to two years, according to other researchers.
A vaccine developed according to proper standards will lead to the appearance of reliable antibodies that can help the body to fight against the virus in the case of a potential infection. Pharmaceutical companies are keeping a close eye on reinfections as they can influence the development of vaccines.
It is also worth noting that people who experienced a severe COVID-19 case are less likely to get the infection again.