Can Coronavirus Recoveries Bring Infection Home?

Residents of Novosibirsk who have been ill with covid are asked to wear masks. Doctors are confident that preventive measures should be applied despite the fact that the person has had the disease, because he can infect others

Officially, more than 32 thousand residents of the Novosibirsk region have had a coronavirus infection. The real number of those who recovered is unknown: many did not go to doctors, someone suffered the disease asymptomatically and only then discovered antibodies in themselves.

All this against the background of the lifting of coronavirus restrictions (the other day the authorities allowed bars to work again around the clock) forms a frivolous attitude towards the prevention of coronavirus infection: people who have been ill neglect masks, use antiseptics less often, and when they come home, they are in no hurry to wash their hands, as it was before. Why is it dangerous?

Can a person who has already been ill bring home a coronavirus – for example, on their hands or clothes, and then infect loved ones? Medical columnist for the NGS Maria Tishchenko talked about this with experts.

Do those who have recovered need a protective mask

There is the so-called specific prophylaxis of CJVID-19 (these are vaccines) and nonspecific (everything that helps to stop the spread of infection). The latter includes compliance with the self-isolation regime, and distances from 1.5 to 2 meters, and disinfection, but the most important thing that affected everyone was wearing masks and washing hands.

In the latest version of the manual of the Ministry of Health, the following types of prevention are listed, among others:

“Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene – wash your hands with soap and water, use disposable napkins when sneezing and coughing, touch your face only with clean napkins or washed hands. Use of personal protective equipment for respiratory organs – disposable medical masks, respirators. Irrigation of the nasal mucosa with isotonic sodium chloride solution. The use of drugs for topical application with barrier functions (meaning some prophylactic ointments. – Approx. Auth.) “.

Now there are several vaccines against coronavirus infection, recently Novosibirsk “Vector” also released its own into civilian circulation.

Many patients who have had a coronavirus infection still believe that six months can definitely be calm, and neglect preventive measures – they do not wear masks and forget to wash and clean their hands.

What the doctors say (spoiler alert: you can bring the virus on the skin of your hands)

Andrei Pozdnyakov, chief physician of the clinical diagnostic laboratory of INVITRO-Siberia LLC, says that such people have the theoretical possibility of being infected again – to receive a “dose of the virus” on the mucous membranes. True, the immune system of a person who has recovered from this transient infection will cope rather quickly: the person will not develop the disease, but for some time it will be infectious to others.

– The degree of infectiousness is not high, in contrast to those with primary cases, but it does exist. The virus can also be brought on the skin of the hands. The question of precautions for those who have recovered is still quite acute, because no one has yet revealed clear and unambiguous patterns about the mechanisms of protection against recurrent illness and the duration of their action. Scientists understand that there are neutralizing antibodies, there are memory cells, and there is a cellular link of immunity. But how long all these links of the immune defense are effective is not clear due to the short terms of studying the infection.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a shortage of masks and antiseptics, now you can buy them in almost any store (prices, by the way, have also decreased)

In addition, the infectious disease specialist adds, the individual characteristics of specific people are not fully understood:

“It has been more or less proven in general that antibodies and memory cells last for six months and in some cases longer. But for some, they fall below the definition level after three to four months. Why – the question is still poorly understood.

Therefore, Andrei Pozdnyakov is sure that now there are still increased risks of the disease and it is better to defend yourself so as not to transmit the virus to other people by transferring it on the hands or mucous membranes; and in order not to get sick again if the immune defense decreases.

– Those who have had COVID-19 can still carry the infection for some time – up to two weeks, according to some reports, up to one month. In addition, those who have recovered often have weakened immunity after the pathogen has been in the body, which can contribute to re-infection. Therefore, people who have recovered from coronavirus should definitely use personal protective equipment – masks, gloves, social distance, so as not to endanger healthy people and themselves, – said Taisiya Granichnaya, therapist of the Zdravitsa family medicine center.

To speed up the process of restoring immunity after an infection, in addition to medications, the therapist says, it is necessary to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition – high protein content, vitamins, primarily vitamin D; as well as dosed physical activity: anaerobic exercise – cycling, Nordic walking, walking in the fresh air.

Zdravitsa therapist Olga Berezovskaya explains that the risk of re-infection depends on how badly the patient has been ill: as a rule, if it is severe, then a lot of antibodies are produced, and they persist for a long time, if a person has had an asymptomatic or mild disease, then antibodies are produced few or none at all (in this case, it is very easy to get infected again).


– A sick person can bring the coronavirus infection home and infect their loved ones. Therefore, it is important to follow the mask regimen, including for those who have had CJVID-19. Although viral infections are less likely to be transmitted through dirty hands than bacterial ones, washing hands is still very important for everyone, regardless of whether a person has had a coronavirus infection or not, Olga Berezovskaya recommends.

Earlier, the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko argued that those vaccinated against the new coronavirus infection should wear masks regardless of the antibody titer before the formation of population immunity. This is because vaccination reliably protects against a severe course and, in the vast majority of cases, against a disease, but a person with a vaccination can nevertheless transmit the infection to those who are not protected.

Andrey Pozdnyakov – candidate of medical sciences, infectious disease specialist, chief physician of the clinical diagnostic laboratory of LLC INVITRO-Siberia. Olga Berezovskaya is a therapist at the Zdravitsa family medicine center, work experience since 1997. Taisiya Granichnaya is a therapist at the Zdravitsa family medicine center.

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