“Wait. I can catch Covid twice?” my 50-year-old patient asked in disbelief. It was the beginning of July, and he had just tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, for a second time — three months after a previous infection. While there’s still much we don’t understand about immunity to this new illness, a small but growing number of cases like his suggest the answer is “yes.”
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, “the assumption was that
people would get better, and then it was over,” Peluso says. “But we
know from lots of other viral infections that there is almost always a
subset of people who experience longer-term consequences.” He explains
these can be due to damage to the body during the initial illness, the
result of lingering viral infection, or because of complex immunological
responses that occur after the initial disease.
To prevent another spike in cases, public health workers will perform the difficult and sometimes tedious process of interviewing people diagnosed with Covid-19, finding out who they have recently been in close physical contact with, and then informing those people of their potential exposure and advising them to self-isolate and get tested.
Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan have enacted strict testing and travel bans in order control the spread of the coronavirus. This post also describes that controlling the spread of the virus is directly related to travel bans, as new resurgent cases have been attributed to travel.
Links and information on various federal assistance programs during the coronavirus crisis. The article provides a table with a list of resources for each state.