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EXCLUSIVE – Bilateral pneumonia to lung damage: Reinfection cases surge as second COVID wave sweeps Kashmir


Srinagar: A 40-year-old female had thought of leaving the baggage of Covid-19 behind, but her worst fears returned when she tested positive for the virus again in April.

“She was treated for Covid-19 in February and had a mild disease back then. This time, however, she is admitted with severe disease and suffers from bi-lateral pneumonia. Although she is recuperating, she needs to take extra precautions following her recovery,” a senior doctor at SMHS Hospital, Srinagar said.


The doctor noted that even after someone gets an infection; the antibodies stay in circulation for a maximum of 60-90 days. “Like this female was infected in February. It has already been three months since then, so we would not expect her to have a good protective level of antibodies in her blood. It is as good as having a new infection,” he said.

He noted that if someone was previously infected and had a mild to moderate disease involving the lungs, there must be some level of residual lung damage. “If the same person tests positive again, it is obviously a bad sign,” the doctor said.

However, the cases of re-infection don’t stop here. Those who were vaccinated can also get positive.

Sample this: A person in his early 70’s who had received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine 14 days backtested positive for the virus.

“He was admitted with bi-lateral pneumonia. Although his RT-PCR test came negative, the X-ray clearly suggested of Covid -like infection,” a doctor treating him at SMHS Hospital said.

Similarly, the 85-year-old Member Parliament and National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah, although having received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine tested positive for Covid-19 on March 30. He was later discharged on April 7, after the doctors at SKIMS concluded that he could be managed at home.

President, Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK), Dr. Suhail Naik told The Kashmir Monitor that there is a big confusion about vaccination.

“People should understand that Covid vaccination upgrades immunity levels in the body, however, it cannot stop the virus from entering it,” Dr. Suhail said.

He pointed out every virus has a port of entry. “For Covid-19, the port of entry is your mouth or nose. “With the result, if the virus manages to enter the body through mouth or nose, there are chances of developing a mild illness and you can test positive for Covid-19,” he said.

Dr. Suhail said the vaccinated person will have very few chances of developing severe illness or succumbing to it. “Again, the immunity comes into play. So don’t live under the impression that vaccines will automatically block the nose and mouth, and prevent the virus from entering the body. Covid appropriate behavior needs to be followed,” he said.