Coronavirus antibodies won't keep you from getting the virus again, says a Central Jersey doctor reporting that at least two of his patients have.been reinfected with coronavirus after testing negative for months in between.
Dr. Stuart Ditchek, who treats patients in Deal and surrounding parts of Monmouth County, said in a Wednesday night video posted here on YouTube, "We now have two cases that are reinfected that I am personally connected with."
Ditchek said the first patient had COVID-19 a few months ago, tested negative for months in between, went to a party last weekend, and then tested positive for coronavirus this week. "So that is a reinfection," the doctor said.
According to the CDC, the body's immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood.
"Patients with MERS-CoV are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19," the CDC said.
The news may not come as a surprise as the transmission rate surged to 1.03 for the first time in 10 weeks this week.
Ditchek said he encountered a second reinfected patient on Wednesday from the same family. This patient had accumulated so many antibodies from his previous COVID-19 infection that he was able to donate plasma to other coronavirus patients two times.
"He'd been negative for seven weeks and sure enough was re-exposed," Ditchek said, and diagnosed positive for COVID-19 this week.
"We now have two cases that are reinfected that I am personally connected with," Ditchek said. "This is very concerning. We now have absolute evidence these people did get reinfected."
Summer visitors are returning to the Jersey Shore, people are socializing in larger groups and getting too lax, Ditchek warned.
He had a third patient this week who worked as a day camp counselor in Lakewood. She tested positive, and the day camp is being responsive, but again, Ditchek expressed his concern about a second wave of coronavirus this summer.
"These are real cases. They are occurring in significant numbers," the doctor warned.
To listen to this and other Facebook posts about the Deal doctor's experiences with COVID-19, click here.
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