The big question is how long does the protection last. Experts and biologists also express a possibility that the person never fully recovered from the first infection as they say that patient continues to shed the virus for some time.
So are recovered patients testing positive for re-infection? Or, is it the dead virus still being detected? The virus stays in the body for 30 days to one month. Our bodies have two ways in which it attacks the virus, the first being antibodies and T-cells that are activated when the virus attacks again.
T-cells remain activated for about two years. If we look at Sars-COV-1 patients, they too developed long-term antibodies against the virus. Can you get infected by someone who is a recovered Covid patient? But the ICMR has decided that at least two-week isolation is important before the recovered patients go back to the general public.
This involves adequate social distancing at least 2m, universal masking absolutely necessary, hand-washing and avoiding outdoor gatherings. Experts say there remains a high possibility that re-infection may occur in future years, particularly as we spend more time in the pandemic. However, until the antibodies persist, a re-infection is a rare chance.
But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be ,, or even as high as , in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in cases. Here's what we know so far. What is the Wuhan coronavirus? A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body's normal functions.
Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word 'corona', which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown. The vast majority of confirmed infections of the Wuhan coronavirus have been diagnosed in China. But more than 80 countries or territories outside of the mainland have also declared infections. The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It is currently named nCoV, and does not have a more detailed name because so little is known about it.
Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: 'Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.
Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease Severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome MERS coronaviruses.
The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known. The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started seeing infections on December By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge. The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed.
The next day, scientists predicted that 1, people had become infected, possibly up to 7, Just a week after that, there had been more than confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4, — possibly 9, — were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died. By January 27, more than 2, people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from , to , in Wuhan alone.
By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to and cases were in excess of 6, Where does the virus come from? According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals — the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively. The first cases of the virus in Wuhan came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.
Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.