Beckley ARH Infectious Disease Specialist: Getting COVID-19 twice is possible

Raleigh County

A medical worker takes a nasal swab sample from a student to test for COVID-19 at the Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance urgent care pop up testing site in New York City. New York’s governor has imposed tough new restrictions in several areas recording high infection rates to try to ward off a second coronavirus wave. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — For Zonaira Gul, M.D. and her staff at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital, treating coronavirus patients in order to stay ahead of the curve is an emotional rollercoaster with completely unexpected turns.

“People may seem to be doing better,” Gul said. “But sometimes… they may take a worse turn.”

But another twist of fate is cases are on the rise across the state and the country as of Thursday, October 29. 2020. A recurring question continues to grow: can those who already accounted for one of those cases get the virus again?

Gul, who serves as a infectious disease specialist at Beckley ARH, said the short answer is yes.

“There have been cases reported with a repeat infection from repeat exposure or recurrent infection,” Gul said.

Gul further explained a second diagnosis of the coronavirus can happen depending on how much the person is exposed to and for how long.

“If somebody has had a COVID-19 infection, and they recover… After a month or so, they’re exposed to somebody else who has [an] active COVID-19 infection,” Gul said. “If they’re not careful, then they are at risk of getting another episode of infection.”

With how extremely contagious the novel coronavirus is, Gul stressed everyone, especially those who already contracted it, to stay focused.

“No one can predict how severe the second episode of infection can be… Please do not assume that you may not get it again,” Gul said.

Gul repeated wearing a mask, washing your hands, and avoiding large crowds as three key measures to effectively stop the virus’s spread.

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