Can I Get COVID-19 Again?

Getting Covid-19 again seems to be rare but you have a still possible to get Covid-19 again after the recovery of it.
It is called reinfection. According to the knowledge from similar viruses, reinfections are expected.
This situation is also valid for vaccinated people. If you got the shot of Covid Vaccine and still virus can infect you again and thanks to the vaccine, the risk of severe illness and death decrease significantly.
There is a study called SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation (SIREN) which was conducted by the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health in England. The study showed that the possibility of reinfection is decreased by 83% for at least five months due to the responses of the immune from the previous infection.
The results from the same study suggested that cases of reinfection are rare and the ratio of occurrence is fewer than 1% of about 6.600 participants who had already been infected by the COVID-19 virus.
Reinfection is a rare situation but it is significant to take precautions such as wearing masks, handwashing, and social distancing.

What are the Covid-19 Variants?

The pandemic of Covid-19 continues to affect our lives and thankfully vaccines are coming with hope to fight this pandemic. However, new versions of the Covid-19 virus are reported and put us in a stressful place again.

Let’s see what is the variant Of Covid-19 and how does it affect us?

The mutation is responsible for the formation of new variants of the virus and some of these variants continue to spread and some of them are disappeared.

As we know, new variants of Covid-19 are reported. One of them is detected in the UK and called B.1.1.7. It is more contagious when compared to their variants.

Last October, in South Africa, named with B.1.351 variant was determined and lastly, P.1 variant was detected passenger from Brasil at the airport in Japan.

Easily and fast spreading of these variants cause the number of infected people, a requirement of the health services, hospital admission, and finally to death.   

Therefore, protective strategies such as physical distance, mask, hand hygiene, isolation, and quarantine limit the spreading of the Covid-19 virus and protect public health.

What about the Vaccines?

Current vaccines were based on the previous version of the virus. However, scientists believe that they would be effective for new types of viruses.

The first result of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines provides protection but less effective to new variants.

Two new vaccines (from Novavax and Jannsen) to be approved sooner would provide the protection as well. Experts from Oxford-AstraZeneca explained that their vaccine is protective against to new English variant.

Experts state that although this vaccine still provides protection against severe Covid-19 diseases, it is less effective against the South African variant.

Preliminary results from Moderna also show that the vaccine is effective against the South African variant. However, experts point out that the immune response may not be strong and long-lasting in this variant.

Experts say that many different variants may emerge in the future, but even in the worst-case scenario, vaccines can be redesigned or modified within a few weeks or months.

It is stated that the flu vaccine is updated to cover new strains every year, as well as the coronavirus vaccines, can be renewed.

4% of the world’s population

Created in 1997 by Inserm, Orphanet has progressively transformed into a Consortium of 40 countries, which are principally located in Europe. These partners work together to pool within it the available data on rare diseases taken from the scientific literature, making Orphanet the most comprehensive resource in the field. The large amounts of information it contains can improve the understanding of these conditions.

In their study, Rath’s team examined the data available on the point prevalence of 3,585 rare diseases (namely, the number of people affected at a given time). Rare cancers as well as rare diseases caused by infection or poisoning were excluded from their analysis.

After harmonizing the literature data using a predefined method, following which they added together the point prevalence of the various diseases referenced in the database, they were able to estimate that at any given time, 3.5 to 5.9% of the global population suffers from these conditions. This represents around 300 million people, i.e. 4% of the world’s population.

When taken together, “rare” diseases are not so rare after all, and therefore public health policies at global and national level are needed to address this issue, according to the authors. Such a policy is becoming reality in France, which launched its 3rd National Rare Diseases Plan a year ago. “In all likelihood, our data represent a low estimation of the reality. The majority of rare diseases are not traceable in healthcare systems and in many countries there are no national registries. Making patients visible within their respective healthcare systems by implementing means to record their precise diagnoses would make it possible in the future not only to review our estimations, but more fundamentally to improve the adaptation of support and reimbursement policies”, specifies Rath.

Other observations were made during this study, with the researchers showing for example that out of the more than 6,000 diseases described in Orphanet, 72% are genetic and 70% start in childhood. Furthermore, among the diseases analyzed in the study, 149 alone are responsible for 80% of cases of rare diseases identified worldwide.

Future research must now focus on collecting and analyzing the data on the rare diseases which had been excluded from this study. Cancers and other rare diseases caused by infectious agents or linked to environmental factors will be the subject of new analyses. But the researchers’ priority remains the same: namely, to broaden the field of knowledge on rare diseases in order to offer patients better treatment and ensure that, in the future, no-one is left behind.

Stéphanie Nguengang Wakap, Deborah M Lambert, Annie Olry, Charlotte Rodwell, Charlotte Gueydan, Valérie Lanneau, Daniel Murphy, Yann Le Cam, Ana Rath.
Estimating cumulative point prevalence of rare diseases: analysis of the Orphanet database.
European Journal of Human Genetics (2019).