April 16, 2020

CNN's New Day had a segment about COVID-19 news from South Korea.

"We want your take on a new study that we saw, new information that we saw just before we came to air this morning. that came from South Korea, that 114 people there who had believed to be recovered from coronavirus had tested positive again, or at least shown traces of the virus again," John Berman said to Sanjay Gupta.

"Explain to us what that means and the possible implications here, because one of the questions we have been asking is, do we know for sure you can't get it again if you already have it?"

"Right. So two important terms here," Gupta said.

"One is reinfection, so someone has the virus, they get infected, they clear the virus, it has gone from their body, and then they get infected again. and then another one is reactivation, which basically means you had the virus in your body, you got better in terms of symptoms, but in fact the virus was still there and something reactivated the virus. Never left your body, but got reactivated in some way so you got sick again. Two different things.

"From a reinfection standpoint, you know, the answer to both these things, John, I think we always have to give some -- humble here when we give answers, we don't know, we're still pretty early days into this, there has been some early animal studies, maybe suggesting animals could be reinfected. But, you know, a lot of people have been asked about this, Dr. Fauci has been asked about this a few times, I've been keeping special notes on this and what we hear is that it is very unlikely to be reinfected.

"If this behaves like any other virus, including other coronaviruses, after you're infected, your body should develop antibodies that provide some immunity. We don't know how strong or how long, but should provide some immunity. Is it possible the virus doesn't leave for much longer than we think? We have been interviewing this guy Carl Goldman who for some time who seemed to have evidence of the virus in his body, being swabbed every other day, evidence of the virus in his body for about a month.

"It is possible this virus hangs in the body much longer than we thought. In Carl's case, he did clear it, so it is not like someone that hangs in your body forever, creates a shingles-like pattern years down the line, it doesn't seem to be that case. But it may be hanging out in the body much longer than we realize."

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