BGR Reports How COVID Cases Are on the Rise and Doctors Can't Explain Them
October 15, 2020
A BGR article by Chris Smith titled Coronavirus Reinfections Are on the Rise, and Doctors Can't Explain Them
highlights how doctors and scientists are noticing an increase in COVID cases globally. They also reported that some cases of reinfections are on the horizon, and we head into 2021 in the coming months. The article states that the public will still need to observe the social distancing guidelines and wearing of masks well into 2021 even if vaccines become widely available.
Vaccines may offer some individuals protection, but the question of how long their vaccine-based immunity will last is unknown; however, the article states that some experts predict that the pandemic will end in late 2021. It's too early to tell, but the fact of the matter is that some parts of the world, such as Europe, are experiencing a second wave, and America is experiencing its third wave.
In light of this, Smith states that doctors are reporting reinfections and can't explain why some are reoccurring so quickly after their initial infection. What's more eye-opening in this article is when he writes, "The reinfection phenomenon might become even more widespread, as there aren't clear protocols in place to identify and catalog reinfections."
Global Reinfection Numbers Are Low for Now
Smith stated on the sixth of October 2020, the date of publication, the number of reinfection cases are low, and at the moment, they currently stand at two dozen. He states that the virus's genome sequencing to an infected person is the only method to catalog if a person has been reinfected. While this technology may not be widely available, another BGR article showed what might be the first case of coronavirus reinfection
because a man in Hong Kong had caught the virus twice. They were able to determine the reinfection with genetic sequencing technology. The man appeared to have no symptoms, yet still tested positive when the virus had mutated into a different strain that was able to reinfect him but his antibodies and T cells developed to fight it off. The man appeared to be asymptomatic but was hospitalized and monitored again.
However, in Smith's article, he states that this man's asymptomatic experience isn't the case for everyone who gets reinfected. He said that herd immunity may be unlikely to eliminate the virus or that vaccines will also be unlikely to offer total protection. He states that The Guardian had reported a 25-year-old Indian woman who had suffered more severe symptoms during her second case of COVID. "Her immunity wasn't enough to protect her from the second [case], [it was a] more severe infection despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies," professor Jayanthi Shastri told the paper in this article about whole-genome sequencing confirming SARS-Cov-2 reinfections.
It's possible we may develop immunity, but the question is, how and when? Where we stand on being immune to the virus is still in its research phase as scientists and immunologists figure out how the immune system reacts to COVID and what's the next course of action. As Smith states, it's important that talk of immunity can be misleading and unwarranted as the video in the article depicts President Trump claiming he may be immune as he is yet to clear the virus. Some scientists have a few theories as to why others may get reinfected with ideas that the virus harms T cells that aid in fighting infections or that the person already had a preexisting condition and was exposed.
Experts expect to see more cases in autumn and winter, as Smith stated in his article. He also cited one psychologist's idea of invulnerability should be dispelled as the world sees more waves of the virus affect the global population. You can read Smith's entire article here
for more information and see other articles on his continued coverage on the coronavirus as well.
To read the complete article visit: www.bgr.com