[Popular Science] How long does it take for a body to recover after being infected with coronavirus? Will there be a second infection?

- May 12, 2020-

The new coronavirus began to spread from animals to humans at the end of last year. So far, there have been more than 2 million confirmed cases worldwide. Although many of these patients have recovered, there are signs that some patients may take a long time to completely return to normal.

People with coronavirus infection have antibodies after they recover, will they be infected again?

How long it takes for the body to recover after being infected with a new crown depends on many factors. First of all, it depends on how heavy your illness is. Second, we must also consider age, gender, and whether there are other health problems, because if a person has a basic disease, it will increase the risk of serious illness. In addition, it also depends on the treatment you receive. The more invasive the treatment, the longer it takes, and the longer the body needs to recover.

What if it is only mild?

Most patients infected with the new coronavirus will have the main symptoms of fever and cough. But it may also be accompanied by body pain, fatigue, sore throat, and headache. It is usually dry cough at first, but some people may eventually cough up sputum with lung cells killed by the virus. If this is the case, just rest in bed, drink plenty of water and take paracetamol analgesics. Mild patients should get better soon. It usually takes less than a week to reduce the fever, but the cough may continue for some time. According to a study by the World Health Organization WHO on Chinese data, it can recover in an average of two weeks.

What if the condition is more serious?

Some people will have more severe symptoms. It usually gets worse about 7 to 10 days after onset. Moreover, this shift will happen suddenly. Difficulty breathing will occur, and the lungs will become inflamed. This is because the body's immune system attempts to fight the virus, but sometimes the immune system responds excessively, which can damage other parts of the body. Some people will need hospitalized oxygen therapy for this.

British family doctor Jarvis explained that if shortness of breath occurs, it will take a long time to slowly improve. This is because your body needs to recover from injury and inflammation. This process may take up to two to eight weeks. Even so, there may be a long time when the body still feels tired.

Will there be a second infection?

At present, it is difficult to have accurate figures to know how many people have been cured. However, according to the report of Hopkins University in the United States, as of April 15, there were about 500,000 people recovering globally. However, different countries have different statistical methods for this, and some countries do not publish the number of cured cases. At the same time, some mild patients are not counted. According to a mathematical model, about 99-99.5% of infected people have recovered. There are many claims about how long immunity can last, but there is little evidence. If patients can successfully repel the new coronavirus and recover, they must have established some immunity. However, there have been reports that some patients have been infected again after being cured. This may be due to inaccurate detection, thinking that the virus has disappeared. And immunity is very important for us to know whether people will get secondary infections and the effectiveness of any vaccine.