Can you test positive for Covid-19 after recovering?

Published Apr 13, 2020


CAPE TOWN - Doctors who examined recovering Covid-19 patients found fairly high levels of antibodies in their blood. Antibodies are made by the immune system to neutralise bacteria and viruses, preventing its ability to spread.

Although the antibodies created in response to the Covid-19 infection may prevent future infections, virologists believe once fully recovered, immunity against Covid-19 may only last a year or two.

There are reports that 5-10% of recovered patients who once tested negative to test positive for the second time and although these patients show little to no symptoms, the WHO has been investigating these individual cases, referring to it as a “virus shedding” process.

Experts do believe Covid-19 may become endemic - a virus with seasonal peaks of infections in certain areas and among certain people.

There are varying opinions amongst researchers, some suggesting the virus may become more deadly while others argue that mutation would not be necessary as the virus spread across the world easily.

This leads to the importance of the Covid-19 vaccine.

There are around 78 projects around the world currently working on the Covid-19 vaccine, with another 37 in development which raises hopes of a vaccine developed fairly quickly, however, there is controversy tied to some programmes regarding human testing, which may take place soon.

With some scientists believing it is the quickest way of determining the vaccine's effectiveness and may reduce the development time of many months, this may save millions, but deliberately infecting volunteers - especially those receiving the placebo vaccine - has sparked a controversial debate.


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