For most diseases, you're immune after getting it once, but now there are people saying they got reinfected by the novel coronavirus. So, can you get COVID-19 twice if you've already had it? There's very little known about it, but for now, experts say that it could be possible.
According to the CBC, Vancouverite Shilan Garousi was diagnosed with COVID-19... after already recovering from it.
She first came down with the virus back on Saturday, March 7, but got better over time. Then, around Tuesday, April 7, a month later, the symptoms came right back. Once again she got tested, and once again it came back positive.
"To be honest, it's a medical mystery to all, and to myself I am as puzzled," said Garousi to CBC.
Dr. Stephen Hoption Cann, clinical professor at UBC's school of population & public health, told Narcity that reinfection could be possible. We just don't know why or how it happens.
"What we've seen so far is people that get infected don't seem to get reinfected. But, you know, there are some rare isolated cases where this may occur," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Curry, a clinical associate professor with UBC's department of emergency medicine, says it's too early to say for sure.
"Best I can say is we don’t know. It’s a new virus and we’re still on the steep part of the learning curve," wrote Curry to Narcity.
He said people in Asia have tested positive for COVID-19 after already recovering from a confirmed case of novel coronavirus. This could be due to reinfection. Or, they could be a rebound from a previous infection, a false negative test, lab error, or more.
We reached Garousi for comment; this article will be updated.
For Dr. Hoption Cann, he says people who've already been infected "are probably going to be protected for weeks to months in the majority of cases."
However, he also notes that, like the seasonal flu, it's possible the virus mutates and people won't be immune next season.
Curry adds, based on research, it's unlikely the novel coronavirus mutates that fast.
But whatever the case, both researchers say a vaccine would still most likely help.
And since so many people developed immunity after getting it the first time, Dr. Hoption Cann says you're most likely safe from reinfection.