According to WHO, patients who are tested positive after they recover from the infection are still in their recovery phase due to which they test positive. They are still expelling the dead lung cells from the body rather than they undergo new infections, this is what WHO told AFP recently on Wednesday. Recently South Korean healthcare officials raised concerns regarding the reinfections and more than 300 such cases were reported with coronavirus reinfections. They raised concerns that people who recovered from this deadly infection can either become positive for the test or not. However, WHO considers this as false-positive results. If recovered patients get re-infected it might be difficult for the vaccines to work for them.
EXPLANATION BY WHO REGARDING THE APPEARANCE OF POSITIVE TESTS:
WHO spokesperson also told AFP that we are highly aware of the fact that some patients even though they recover they still show positive without even pointing out to South Korean cases. WHO indicates that scientists and researchers have continued doing their research on the coronavirus patients and it is seen that these patients are expelling the leftover dead lung cells from the body during their recovery phase where they test positive.
When a person gets infected with coronavirus infection, the body of the patient starts producing antibodies during one week where the body starts fighting against the infections and the symptoms appear. Experts, however, do say that they are still not sure of the fact that whether these antibodies form for a longer duration and are these antibodies capable of fighting off second infections. WHO further claims that we need to perform more research regarding the fact that whether newly infected patients who test negative during their recovery phase and test positive weeks later so what is the logic behind that. WHO spokesperson also explained that we need a further collection of samples from the hospitalized patients who recovered from COVID-19 to understand the shelf-life of the virus and for how long it survives. The spokesperson also explained that we need to understand the fact that if the person is during their recovery phase whether they can contract the virus to other human beings or not. Having a live coronavirus does not indicate that it can pass to another human being.
Maria Van Kerhove who is the infectious disease epidemiologist and part of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program explained in a recent interview to BBC the scenario regarding “dead cells.” she said that as soon as the lungs start healing after the infection, some dead lung cells are also present which test positive during the test. She explains that it’s a part of the healing process rather than the reinfection or activation of the virus. She further explained that we are not sure regarding the longevity of immunity, presence of immunity, or stronger protection against infection.
IMMUNITY AGAINST DIFFERENT VIRUSES:
When considering different viruses like measles or chickenpox, people usually have immunity for life. For people infected with SARS, the immunity lasts for a few months or a few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in deaths of around 257,000 people and 3.7 million people are infected with this disease. Although we still lack the testing kits for coronavirus due to which more people might be infected.