Covid at Home: Why do some people test positive?

If my husband and son never tested positive, why should they feel sick? Experts tell me that even if a vaccinated person doesn’t have much virus in their body, they can still have strong Covid symptoms. That’s because many symptoms of illness — fever, malaise, runny nose, fatigue — are actually caused by the immune system’s response to the virus, not by the virus, Dr. .

And as for why I feel well, Dr. Morrison said that maybe my immune system was fighting the invading virus so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to feel sick. “It seems to me that you have definitely been exposed,” Dr. Morrison told me. However, she explained, it is possible that I have high levels of vaccine antibodies or immune cells called T cells that are able to destroy the invading virus before it has a chance to alert the organs. in my immune system will provoke symptoms.

All this shows, no one really knows what happened to me, my son or my husband. When it comes to understanding how Covid-19 affects the body, “there are a lot of open questions,” said Raul Andino, a virologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and people may have different experiences for different reasons. For example, Dr. Andino said, it’s possible the virus is multiplying in parts of my husband’s or my son’s body that tests don’t reach. Research shows that coronavirus can replicate in pancreas, heart, brain, kidney and other organsAlthough vaccinations can reduce chance that the virus spreads outside the respiratory system.

My family is not the only one who has had the strange experience of developing coronavirus symptoms but repeatedly testing negative. Andino said that he and his colleagues have conducted studies in which they repeatedly tracked and tested entire households after one person in the home tested positive for Covid-19. “What we saw was exactly what you described – that some people in the family didn’t test positive,” even though they had symptoms, he said. When I ask my Instagram followers if they’ve had the same experience as my family, I get dozens of “yes” answers and stories that sound a lot like ours.

The experts I spoke with also made a really important point: There is a difference between never giving positive results and not yet test positive. My husband and son continued to test themselves for a week after developing symptoms, so my sources said it was unlikely they would test positive. But many people only test for a few days and, disappointingly, you cannot draw clear conclusions from just a few negative tests.

As I said earlier, when people are immunized against Covid-19, their immune systems are prepared to fight it off quickly, and they often develop symptoms earlier than people who don’t. get vaccinated – a few days before they can test positive. So when people test only a few days after developing symptoms, their negative result doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have Covid-19. However, at that time, some people assumed they did not have the coronavirus and stopped taking precautions. Dr Gronvall said: “They can relax the mitigation measures while they are still spreading the virus quite a bit.

Given these findings, Dr. Gronvall says, ideally, people who have had two or three doses of the vaccine should be tested when they start to develop symptoms but continue to be tested on the fourth or fifth day of life. symptoms, as previous negative tests can give artificial peace of mind. However, for this you need to have access to a lot of tests. Thankfully, you can now get the third round of free Covid-19 tests through the United States government, and may have free trial sites near you, too.

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