Coronavirus: 3 Things Which Can Increase Your Risk Of COVID Reinfection
1.It’s important to take proper Post COVID care to avoid risk of reinfection
After recent cases of COVID-19 reinfection being documented across India and the world, it’s evident that safeguarding ourselves against COVID-19 might be an ongoing battle, at least until we get a vaccine. Even though COVID recovered patients do gain antibodies post-infection, we do not really know how long they last. In fact, failing to take simple preventive steps can further increase your risk. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also warned people to be careful and not take the recovery lightly.
2.Can you catch COVID-19 more than once?
Even though there exists only little clinical evidence about people catching COVID-19 again, scientists suggest that there can be multiple meanings of what reinfection could mean, making us understand as to why this could happen
A probable reason for this could be the fact that once a person recovers from the infection, the viral load in the body depletes. In some cases, a recovered patient could go on to have low levels of virus in the body and hence, make them prone to show symptoms and get reinfected.
3.COVID antibodies may not protect you for a long time
Secondly, even if antibodies do develop, they may not provide lifelong immunity. Studies have emerged which suggest that antibodies can start to wane in a recovered patient anywhere between 3-9 weeks post recovery. ICMR takes 100 days as the cut off time, post which, antibody count starts to deplete to the lowest. In fact, it can also happen that not all COVID recovered patients develop the same number of antibodies. Milder the infection, lesser could be the body’s antibody response. Hence, it’s super important to keep yourself guarded and follow the same number of precautions, as you did before.
4.Not using a mask
Just because you have had a brush with COVID-19 doesn’t mean it gives you the right to roam around outside, without wearing a mask. Having to wear a mask for longer durations may not be the most comfortable feeling, but they help protect you against any germs and viruses which might be transmitted through respiratory droplets. Following proper mask hygiene might not just protect you against COVID, but also respiratory infections which are common during the polluting winter months.
The same goes for social distancing. Follow protocols, maintain distance and disinfect anything, as you did before. Once you have been cleared as COVID negative, create a ‘bubble’ around you. Do not expose yourself to people outside of the home for at least 10 days. Even after your home isolation period gets over, we suggest waiting for this crucial period to be over, before you start to mingle back in society.
5.Not following the course of treatment properly
While most people develop antibodies after fighting COVID-19, relying on them alone won’t protect you against novel coronavirus reinfection. It’s crucial that you take steps to build robust immunity and follow neccessary dietary precautions which would improve your health and stamina. If you have been advised medication, make sure you follow them. Not only would they help you deal with some of the lingering post COVID symptoms, but the multivitamins and supplements also support vital functioning. Treatment can continue for upto two months time, so make sure you do follow it diligently. Here are some other post COVID care steps patients must take to support their recovery.
6.Taking the recovery period lightly
Lastly, one must remember that COVID-19 is a harsh disease and it can take a lot of time before you resume life in a normal manner. While it’s presumable that a recovered patient may want to get back to normalcy, but the recovery process must not be taken lightly. Even if you do feel relaxed, and do not experience post COVID symptoms, proceed with caution. Overstraining your body, at this stage, will also weaken your immunity and make you prone to experiencing additional problems. Give your body ample time to heal and recover. Otherwise, the risk of reinfection would amplify and expose your frail body to even severe strain.