LAKELAND, Fla. - If you have been through COVID-19 once, you certainly don’t want to go down that road again. Unfortunately, it is possible. Data on coronavirus reinfection is nothing close to complete, but it is clear that cases are starting to rise.
The first documented case in the United States was a Nevada man last fall. From there, cases began to pop up worldwide. Brazil is reporting at least 95 reinfections, Sweden reports 150, Mexico reports 285, and Qatar reports 243.
The numbers could be much higher. Experts suspect current reporting is greatly underestimated.
Anyone who has had COVID-19 likely has limited immunity, experts say. Until recently, the prevailing theory was that after recovery, protection could last several months. New research indicates immunity in many people could last much longer, up to eight months, but there are no guarantees.
"The data is just not there to say you are protected," Dr. Tim Regan told FOX 13. "If it is more than 90 days since you have had the infection, you should get vaccinated."
Regan also says that your immunity may not be as strong if you contract one of the new variants, such as the one from South Africa.
Regan says since COVID-19 is so new, there are still many unanswered questions about the virus and how it affects the body.
"We’re just really going on a day-by-day and hour-by-hour basis," he said.
Regan says the best way to prevent reinfection is to take precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent hand washing seriously.