Although the optimal of the coronavirus pandemic has an extremely much passed in the UK, it"s much from over - with 2nd waves popping increase all about the people there is no guarantee us won"t endure the same. Plus, with continued social distancing provisions being placed in ar in all elements of public life, things don"t specifically feel normal appropriate now.

You are watching: Can you get the same flu twice

But if you to be to capture the COVID-19 virus, does this median you deserve to swiftly resume normality? prior to the coronavirus outbreak, us spoke to Dr Richard Pebody, Public wellness England"s Head that Influenza and other respiratory viruses, around whether it"s feasible to obtain the very same virus twice - and also the details feels much more pertinent now than ever before.

You know the drill from winter seasons gone by; you acquire a cold, and then you pass it to your housemate. Or your partner. Or her colleagues. And also before you understand it, it"s come right ago around to you. You"re ill again. But why? the begs the question: can you really record the exact same virus twice?

Generally, the price is: no, girlfriend can"t. Yet the bad news is the there room so many viruses and germs flying approximately (particularly during the winter months), you"ve got a high opportunity of catching another one instead. Whereby coronavirus is concerned, there room fears the it may have actually the volume to mutate into much more than one strain, an interpretation you could in theory catch it twice.


"The body’s immune system recognises and also fights off germs such together viruses that have invaded your blood," Dr Richard Pebody, Public health England"s Head that Influenza and also other respiratory tract viruses, told UK. As soon as your immune device detects flu and also other viruses, it will make antitoxin to attack them, which way that if you"re exposed to a virus after you"ve currently come into contact with it, her immune mechanism will recognise it and also will currently be armed to fight the off before that takes hold.

so what walk that mean for coronavirus?

Hong Kong simply reported the situation of a healthy man in his 30s, that has become reinfected v coronavirus a 2nd time, four and also a half months after that was very first struck under by it. Professionals analysing the genome sequencing that the viruses display the 2 strains space "clearly different", reports the BBC, which would define why he was able to catch it twice.


The concept that there might be two different strains that the highly contagious coronavirus is miscellaneous that has actually been hypothesised before. Part have argued that there might be one, far an ext mild stress, overload of the virus, and another that yields much more severe symptoms. However, the world Health organization reassures that it"s not vital to enter a remote state of panic based upon just one case.

According come Dr Pebody, it"s typical for viruses come mutate, meaning your human body won"t it is in immune to the new strain. "The viruses that cause flu can adjust every year, so also if you’ve had flu newly it’s recommended that you gain a inoculation that matches the new viruses that might circulate each year," he advised.

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"Because flu is resulted in by several viruses, the immunity you naturally develop after infection will certainly only defend you versus that one stress, overload – so you could also go on come catch another strain."

And it"s a pretty comparable situation with colds, defined the doctor. "It is i can not qualify you will obtain the same cold double in quick succession, but due to the numerous viruses which reason a cold you might well catch another cold virus," that said.

But in ~ this stage, COVID-19 reinfection cases are most likely to be rare and also not necessarily serious. The guy in Hong Kong was reportedly asymptotic the second time around.

At the danger of sounding favor your mum, remember that viruses - and coronavirus in particular - are highly infectious. They room spread with coughs and sneezes, which can then live top top hands and surfaces for several hours - and possibly days. So wash THEM. And also do it correctly (for at the very least 20 seconds, or the term of the Happy birthday song twice).

Most importantly, though: follow the official advice. If you construct a new, persistent sneeze or a fever, treat it as though girlfriend may have actually contracted coronavirus and also self-isolate because that 14 days along with the rest of her household.

Yup, it"s crap. However the best means to gain through this unchartered are is to all pull together and follow the advice we"re given, right?

The information in this story is precise as that the publication date. When we are attempting to store our content as up-to-date together possible, the case surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to build rapidly, therefore it"s possible that part information and also recommendations might have readjusted since publishing. For any kind of concerns and latest advice, visit the World health and wellness Organisation. If you"re in the UK, the National health Service can also carry out useful information and also support, while united state users can call the Center for disease Control and Prevention.

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