Covid-19 reinfection 3-6 months after recovery uncommon, but still possible

Risk of Covid-19 reinfection. Infographics by SGH Covid-19 Response Team.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Sept 25: Getting infected once more with Covid-19 within three to six months following recovery is uncommon but still possible, says the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) Covid-19 Response Team.

Similar to vaccinated individuals, it said, immunity against Covid-19 acquired from natural infection decreases over time, thus it remains important for those who have recovered from a prior Covid-19 infection to continue practising standard operating procedure (SOP).

The same risk applies to vaccinated individuals as the Delta variant is highly contagious, highly transmissible, and capable of overcoming immune protection conferred by vaccines.

“Vaccines are not 100 per cent effective in preventing infection. However, they work very well against death, severe disease and hospitalisation,” said the Covid-19 Response Team.

Meanwhile, it noted the possibility of prolonged Covid-19 symptoms even after 10 days of quarantine as recovery rates are dependent on age, pre-existing medical conditions and disease severity.

For those who continue to experience lingering symptoms, also known as long Covid, weeks after recovery such as unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, depression and anxiety, they are urged to seek consultation from doctors.

What is long Covid? Infographics by SGH Covid-19 Response Team.

On inquiries whether an infected person is still infectious after quarantine, SGH Covid-19 Response Team explained that viral shedding — the expulsion and release of virus progeny — will become minimal 10 days after the initial symptoms in a fully vaccinated person.

The infected person is considered no longer infectious or not able to transmit the virus to others after this point, thus a repeat polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is not necessary before the person returns to work or social life.

“However, prolonged virus shedding might occur in unvaccinated individuals and people with weak immune systems (with chronic kidney disease, active cancer, autoimmune disease, etc.).

“They may need to undergo a longer quarantine period following medical advice.”

The life cycle of Covid-19 in a human body. Infographics by SGH Covid-19 Response Team.

These are the few points highlighted by the SGH Covid-19 Response Team through a series of infographics released for the benefit of the public.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian shared this on his Facebook page last night where he said there is still much for everyone to learn about the virus, which is only 21-months old.

“Unfortunately there is also an ‘infodemic’ with so much fake news, politicking, antivaccination sentiments and hesitancy that naturally (causes) the public to be confused, frustrated and in the worst-case scenario, miss out on live-saving information.

“Thank you very much to SGH Covid-19 Response Team for stepping up to provide local medical experts’ opinions on local situations,” he added. — DayakDaily