Am I immune to COVID-19 if I’ve already had it and should I worry about reinfection?

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You have some immunity, but how much and for how long are big unanswered questions.

There’s evidence that reinfection is unlikely for at least three months even for people who had a mild case of COVID-19. That’s how long New York City researchers found stable levels of protective antibodies in a study of nearly 20,000 patients at the Mount Sinai Health System.

Reinfection so far has been rare. The best-known example: Researchers in Hong Kong said a man had mild COVID-19 and then months later was infected again but showed no symptoms. His second infection was detected through airport testing, and researchers said genetic tests revealed slightly different strains of the virus.

It’s actually evidence that the man’s immune system worked as it should. Very few diseases leave people completely immune for life.

The U.S. state of Nevada also saw a similar case. A 25-year-old patient with no prior medical conditions walked into the Washoe County community testing station on April 18 with a sore throat, dry cough and a headache. His PCR nasal-swab test for COVID-19 came back positive, but he was soon feeling well again. Then 35 days later, he was rushed to the emergency room, short of breath and …

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