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Can you get infected with Covid-19 twice? It's complicated

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A health-care worker of Diagnostics Group collects swab samples for coronavirus testing at drive-thru mobile point in Krakow, Poland on October 10, 2020. Due to the increasing spread of COVID-19 in Poland the entire territory of the country will be designated as ' yellow ' zone as of Saturday, October 10. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via AP)

After overcoming a bout with Covid-19, President Donald Trump said he was immune to the virus.

(CNN)After overcoming a bout with Covid-19, President Donald Trump said he was immune to the virus.

A couple of dozen cases of reinfection reported so far," Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, a chief scientist at the World Health Organization, told CNN earlier this week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said this week health officials are beginning to see "a number of cases" reported as reinfections.

"Well-documented cases," he said, '"of people who were infected, after a relatively brief period of time measured anywhere from weeks to several months come back, get exposed and get infected again. "

In August, doctors reported a 25-year-old Nevada man appeared to be the first documented case of Covid-19 reinfection in the US.

A separate team of researchers reported in August a 33-year-old man living in Hong Kong had Covid-19 twice this year: in March and August.

And earlier this year, an 89-year-old Dutch woman -- who also had a rare white blood cell cancer -- died after catching Covid-19 twice, experts said.

While it is possible to get infected again with the virus, there are still questions scientists are working to answer, including who is more likely to get reinfected and how long antibodies protect people from another infection.

Researchers from the University of Arizona found antibodies that protect against infection can last for at least five to seven months after a Covid-19 infection.

"That said, we know that people who were infected with the first SARS coronavirus, which is the most similar virus to SARS-CoV-2, are still seeing immunity 17 years after infection.

That suggests "that if a vaccine is properly designed, it has the potential to induce a durable antibody response that can help protect the vaccinated person against the virus that causes COVID-19," Jennifer Gommerman, professor of immunology at the University of Toronto, said in a statement.

"The people sampled from the ICU had higher levels of antibodies than people who had milder disease," he said, adding that he doesn't yet know what that will mean for long-term immunity.

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