Can you catch Covid twice? Doctor explains likelihood of double covid infection

If you’re one of the tens of thousands of Michiganders who have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks, you may think that you have immunity to the virus – but doctors are warning that’s not quite the case.

As the state is weathering its most recent surge in infections, a tidal wave of post-Covid people is coming and many may think they’re in the clear. But Dr. Asha Shajahan, Beaumont’s Medical Director of Community Health, warns that if you’ve had one strain, you certainly can get a different one.

"Just because you get one strain of the virus doesn't mean can't get another one," Dr. Shajahan said. "If you had Covid, you might think you're good but keep in mind this virus is still around and if it’s around, it can still continue to mutate."

Dr. Shajahan warns that if you've had one strain, you certainly can get a different one.

"If you have had a COVID-19 infection, and it’s recent, everyone has a different immune response - and it depends on how severe you had Covid," she said.

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The general rule of thumb is that the more severe your bout with Covid, the more immunity you have. There's a bonus if you have added immunity from the vaccine or boost. 

"If you had Covid, and you're just recovering, and you have not been vaccinated, it would be to your benefit, once you are feeling better, to get vaccinated. It will boost the immunity you have," Dr. Shajahan said.

The severity of your illness and the treatment you received all affect how soon you can get vaccinated, so you should ask a doctor first. Dr. Shajahan advises that everyone on the mend should get back to basics to boost immune health.

"Things like eating right, sleeping right, exercising when you can," she said.

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Dr. Shajahan says symptoms like fatigue can linger for 10 or even 20 days with the omicron variant. But if it's longer than that, you may want to check in with your doctor. 

"If it’s going longer than that, maybe where you are now on the fourth or fifth week, it might not be a bad idea to touch base with your doctor," Dr. Shajahan said. "Just to make sure that there's nothing else you need to do to help get you through the symptoms."

The omicron variant is extremely contagious so Dr. Shajahan recommends a surgical mask even if you've just recovered from Covid.