Covid-19 can infect twice, has long-term effects, says Dr Ram Vishwakarma


How often can coronavirus happen in life, is still a big question and it is also a fear in the minds of those who have already been infected with the deadly virus. Researchers in Hong Kong recently reported the evidence in a person who got re-infected from Covid-19, months after the initial infection and his genetic strains revealed different strains during the second time.

Some countries including India, are reporting reinfection of Covid cases and Dr Ram Vishwakarma, director, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, says that reinfection is not surprising and there is no need to panic. “People have different immune responses due to differing levels of prior exposure of coronavirus and consequently the T-cell and B-cell memories,” he adds.

Dr Ram Vishwakarma

 Health experts generally believe thatpeoplewhohadCovid-19would have some immunity against repeated infections. It is also believed herd immunity is enough to curb the pandemic but according to Dr Ram, herd immunity, in absence of an effective vaccine, may take a long time and may not be sufficient.

An earlier study on 143 Italian patients, who were already infected from coronavirus showed various types of illness like joint pain, heart related ailments, fatigue, neurological disorders, which showed that the long-term consequences are also there after Covid infection. These long-term consequences are mild and some cases can be chronic.

“Yes, there will be long-term consequences of virus infection in multiple organs such as lungs and heart, and particularly for those people who have blood pressure, diabetes and who are immune-compromised,” he says.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer, AstraZenca, UK’s GSK, France’s Sanofi, Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech are in the race of vaccine trials and as it is important to know how vaccines work, Dr Ram informs that most vaccines actually kill viruses or their molecules, provoking host immunity and memory.