Recently, in some countries, the virus test for patients with new coronavirus has been positive again. A World Health Organization official said on the 13th that it is not clear whether people recovering from new coronavirus can resist secondary infections.
According to a report by the US Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) on the 14th, the head of the World Health Organization Health Emergency Program Michael Ryan said in Geneva, Switzerland on the 13th, “With regard to the rehabilitation and reinfection of patients, I think we have no answer. (Currently) unknown. “
Will the virus “resurrect”?
Ryan said there are still some questions about whether the virus will “reactivate” after the patient recovers and the virus test is negative. Ryan said that there are many reasons for the “resurrection” of infection, perhaps a secondary infection of the same pathogen, or it may be caused by another pathogen. Ryan also said that when a viral infection usually occurs, it is often the case that patients cannot completely remove the virus from the body; some patients may also clear the main source of infection, but they are also infected by bacteria.
As of the 14th, there have been 116 cases of rehabilitation in South Korea. The WHO also said on the 11th that it is investigating South Korea’s cases of “Fuyang”. Zheng Yinjing, head of the South Korean Central Epidemic Prevention Headquarters, said recently that it is speculated that the reason for the recovery of the country’s “rejuvenation” is likely to be the virus “resurrection”, rather than the patient being infected again.
In an interview with the Huffington Post in March, Peter Jung, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School, said: “Just like the flu virus can mutate, the new coronavirus will also mutate, so individual patients may Infect again. “
A March report in the New York Times analyzed that it was possible that the negative test had previously been performed improperly and the pharyngeal swab could not detect the virus “hidden” in other parts of the body. Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said: “A swab requires a sufficient amount of virus for a test to be positive … A negative test does not mean that the person does not have virus.”
Can antibody testing show the possibility of secondary infection?
Some countries plan or have implemented the new coronavirus antibody test. The antibody test can show whether the subject is infected with the new coronavirus, and the antibody test and the nucleic acid test can complement each other to improve the diagnosis. But the WHO said that although antibody testing can determine who has been exposed to the virus, it is not clear whether antibody testing can identify who will not be infected again.
Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of the WHO Health Emergencies Planning Department, also said on the 13th that a preliminary study of some patients in Shanghai found that some patients “have not detected antibody reactions “, While the antibody response of other patients is very high. She said whether patients with strong antibody responses would not be infected again is “another separate issue.”
WHO officials pointed out that more than 300,000 of the 1.87 million new coronavirus infections worldwide have recovered. WHO also needs to obtain more data from recovered patients to understand their antibody response, whether they have immunity and how long this immunity can last.