World Health Organization Says There Is ‘No Evidence’ You Can’t Get Coronavirus Twice

April 27, 2020

If you contracted COVID-19, can you get it again?

The World Health Organization said that there is currently "no evidence" that people who recovered from COVID-19 would be protected from contracting the virus a second time.

"There is no evidence yet that people who have had COVID-19 will not get a second infection," the WHO reported.

The United Nations agency released a statement and warned against issuing "immunity passports" or "risk-free certificates" to people who have had COVID-19, a move to help people across the globe who assume they are safe because they have had the virus.

Information from WHO states that at this point in the pandemic, there is not enough research about the "effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity" to hand out a passport or "risk-free certificates."

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove of the WHO told CNN that it is not known whether people exposed to the virus become completely immune.

Similarly, the Infectious Diseases Society of America warned that not enough is known about antibody testing to know whether or not a person can contract the virus again.

Dr. Mary Hayden, the spokesperson for IDSA and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rush University Medical Center, explained how researchers do not know whether or not patients who have these antibodies are still at risk. Hayden said everyone should assume they could be at risk of getting it again.

"We do not know even if the antibodies are protective, what degree of protection they provide, so it could be complete, it could be partial, or how long the antibodies last," Hayden added.

Dr. Hayden urged people across the globe to continue social distancing until researchers fully know if people can get the virus a second time.

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