Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Covid-19: Patients develop stronger immunity- Virologist

Against the backdrop that some coronavirus patients who were treated for the global pandemic were re-infected in some countries, expert say such patient would rather develop strong immunity against the virus.

A Professor of Medical Virology at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Sunday Omilabu, said once the viral particles are destroyed, there will be repairs in the body system and re-infection will not occur.

He said, coronavirus survivors can regain their loss of affected organs once they re­cover fully as the immunity de­veloped will destroy the viral parti­cles.

According to Omilabu, "once the viral particles are destroyed, then there will be repairs and everything will normalise. It means that one has developed adequate immunity so the issue of being re-infected is very remote. And that’s why be­fore the individual is discharged, we must make sure that he tested negative. On two consecutive oc­casions, before the individual is finally discharged.

"And once you are discharged, it shows that you have adequate immunity to fight any remnant virus. So the immu­nity is always very adequate be­fore one gets discharged so there is no cause for any alarm, and no fear of re-infection."

On complications, Omilabu told Health Writers Association of Nigeria, HEWAN, Lagos in an online interview that, there is no possibility of devel­oping any complication, adding that, once an individual is cleared of the virus, he is cleared, stressing that there is no record of any complication for a COVID-19 survivor, once one is recovered, he is recovered fully with a strong immunity.

Omilabu advised that whenever one is feeling unwell, he should go to the nearest hospital for proper examination, observation and test instead of resorting to self-medication which may not end well.

He said, although malaria and Covid-19 has same symptoms and it is common knowledge that most people with malaria treat themselves at home for the fear of not being mistaken as having coronavirus, they may not speak out or seek medical attention, Omilabu warns that Nigerians should avoid self-medication in order to avert unexpected consequences.

According to him, "we should stop self-medication. Once we are feeling unwell especially at this period, we should go to the nearest healthcare centre. Let the healthcare givers carry out their observations; let them tell us what to do. They can easily test to ascertain if it is malaria or if it is something combined with malaria, we must stop self-medication to avoid unexpected calamities."

Omilabu who is also an Adjunct Professor of Medical Virology at Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, NIMR Lagos emphasized the need for Nigerians to stay away from crowd and imbibe social distancing in order not to get infected.

On the production of vaccine, Omilabu said that to produce vaccines, a lot of resources is required to achieve desired results in its development.

According to the Professor, "there’s no enabling environment. If you want to develop a vaccine you need a lot of resources. And, of course, there must be enough funds to provide all these."



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