Catching COVID-19 twice is something the CDC says is rare, but possible.
Local health experts weighed in on reinfection, vaccination and why people should continue to stay diligent even if they have recovered from the virus.
Isibel Salazar from Moline is struggling with her second round of COVID-19.
“[I’ve had] a lot of wheezing, I lost my taste and smell. I’ve been coughing a lot,” she said.
She first contracted the virus in August and recovered. This time, her symptoms are worse, and she also has pneumonia.
“It’s just been scary. I have asthma and diabetes too, and my blood sugar has been a little high on and off so I’m constantly checking my blood sugar,” she said.
Being isolated for the second time is hard, but she’s grateful for her support system. She said her daughter and son have cooked for her and left it by her bedroom door, which keeps her going.
“They’ve been keeping me positive.”
Dr. Amandeep Kaur with UnityPoint Health says there is still a lot to learn about catching COVID-19 twice.
“It’s still very new. In order for us to know how long the immunity lasts. But there has been some research that has been done that shows that after a COVID infection, you can have immunity up to 3 months,” she said.
She said immunity could depend on how sick someone was the first time.
“The sickest patients usually dwell up the strongest immune response . It is not very clear if you have just mild symptoms or asymptomatic patients, if they will dwell up a sufficient immune response in order for them to be protected against the second infection, even in that three months period zone,” she said.
Janet Hill, the chief operating officer for the Rock Island County Health Department said following guidelines will help prevent catching COVID-19 a first or second time.
“We’re still going to have to be wearing masks, watching our distance and washing our hands. Those are our best defense until we do get everyone vaccinated,” she said.
There are currently 70 million reported cases of COVID-19 globally.