Speed Reads

covid confusion

There's a lot of confusion surrounding possible coronavirus reinfections and immunity

The World Health Organization set off some alarm bells this weekend when the agency warned against issuing coronavirus "immunity passports" because there's no evidence to suggest people are protected from second infections. Some people weren't so sure, even dismissing reports on the announcement as fear-mongering.

But the confusion may stem from a lack of context in reports about coronavirus reinfection or reactivation in presumably recovered patients coming out China and South Korea. For starters, there's the possibility of false negative test results, which could register as positives at a later date. It's also not always known if the patients testing positive again are showing new symptoms.

But even if those caveats are ignored, some experts simply pointed out that an announcement like the one the WHO made doesn't mean the opposite outcome is automatically true.

The WHO itself later clarified its statement on these grounds. Tim O'Donnell