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If I had COVID-19, is it possible to be infected again?

Yes, it is possible to be infected with COVID-19 more than once. Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 occurs when you are infected, recover, and then get infected again. You can be reinfected multiple times.

Reinfections are most often mild, but severe illness can occur. If you are reinfected, you can also spread the virus to others. Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccine and treating COVID-19 illness within a few days of when symptoms start decreases your risk of experiencing severe illness.

Protection against severe COVID-19 illness generally lasts longer than protection against infection. This means even if you get infected again, your immune response should help protect you from severe illness and hospitalization.

When someone is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, their immune system typically generates a response to fight off the infection, including producing antibodies. However, the duration and effectiveness of immunity following a natural infection can vary among individuals.

Several factors can influence the risk of reinfection, including the strength and duration of the immune response, the presence of variants of the virus, and individual characteristics such as age and underlying health conditions.

Research indicates that most people who have had COVID-19 develop some level of immunity against reinfection for a period of time after their initial illness. However, the duration of this immunity is not yet fully understood, and reinfections have been reported.

For more guidance, go to: CDC, WHO

This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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