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How Often You Can Get COVID-19 – Cleveland Clinic

Maybe you’ve been there before. The body hurts. loss of smell and taste. The positive test.

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Maybe you thought you were done with COVID-19. Maybe you thought it was like chicken pox – once you have it you are immune forever and can forget your worries forever.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. You can get COVID-19 more than once. Indeed many times.

“Remember, viruses are very clever,” says critical care physician Abhijit Duggal, MD. “The structure of the COVID-19 virus is changing and can change so much that our body’s immune system can no longer recognize the virus as something it has been exposed to in the past. Your chances of COVID-19 reinfection increase when the virus changes to the point where your body doesn’t remember it.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, reinfection is becoming the new norm, with people catching the virus over and over again. We have with Dr. Duggal talked about how often you can contract COVID-19 and why you get reinfected.

Can you get COVID-19 multiple times?

You may be wondering how often you can get COVID-19. This line from the movie mean girls it occurs to me: the border does not exist.

“Think of it this way: there is no set number of colds you can catch in a lifetime. I can’t say, “I’ve caught a cold 10 times in my life. There’s no way I won’t get it 11 times,'” explains Dr. duggal “The same applies to COVID-19. If you are exposed to a new variant, there is always a risk of reinfection.”

The reason for this is that while some viruses, like chickenpox, stay relatively the same over time, the COVID-19 virus is more similar to the flu virus. It is a master of self-preservation and mutation.

After your body successfully fights off a variant of COVID-19 or receives the COVID-19 vaccine, your immune system can recognize the attacking virus when it’s trying to come back. It throws out the virus like a bouncer on patrol for a pesky club-hopper.

However, if that customer returns a few months later with sunglasses and a fake mustache, the bouncer may not recognize them and undo the velvet ropes to usher them into the party. This is what happens when the COVID-19 virus mutates. It changes just enough to slip past your body’s defenses undetected.

If you’re vaccinated and following all recommended safety precautions, Dr. Duggal that your risk of reinfection is reduced. And luckily, if you get COVID-19 again, it’s likely to be less severe. “But we have to keep in mind that one infection does not make you immune to other variants. You can’t count on that,” he adds.

How long does COVID immunity last after infection?

Research on when you can get reinfected with COVID-19 is mixed. Some studies suggest that after contracting COVID-19, you may be protected from reinfection for 10 months or more. Others say immunity lasts only a few weeks, if at all, after recovering from COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says research is underway to better understand how quickly people can become reinfected.

The good news is that if you get COVID-19 again, it’s likely to be less severe than the first time.

“We see that for people with good, robust immunity — people who have been previously infected and/or vaccinated and have strong immune systems — the severity of their illness from COVID-19 reinfection is quite low,” said Dr. Says Duggal.

However, people whose immune systems are weakened due to chronic illnesses, medications, or other factors may be at greater risk of more serious infections even with a second or third round.

Protection against reinfection

“There are so many variables that affect your chances of being reinfected with COVID-19,” says Dr. duggal “Previous COVID-19 exposure. your vaccination status. The preventive measures you take to protect yourself. The way the virus itself changes over time. All of these play a role in your risk of infection.”

To protect yourself from contracting COVID-19 again, you must remain vigilant and take precautions against virus transmission. The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best ways to lower your risk of COVID-19, in addition to measures like washing hands, wearing masks, social distancing and keeping your distance from people who are sick, says Dr. duggal

Having COVID-19 once does not grant you lasting immunity to future infections. As the virus continues to mutate, new variants will emerge that can sneak past your body’s bouncers…er, immune system.

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