Can You Test Positive for COVID Without Symptoms?
CoViD, CoViI, CoViE
This is a question we are hearing all the time, but the leaders in government and science provide a mish-mash of statements to answer it. What is needed is a logical and concise answer. We have all heard there are people who contract COVID and have no symptoms. But, where are the answers?
This has to be one of the most frustrating questions in the whole pandemic. If there are people who don’t get sick from it, find out why! This has been going on for over 2 years now, and it doesn’t appear anyone has found, or even looked for, the reason. Frustrating!
Here’s some things we do know, that might help, but with the trillions we have spent on COVID-19, to not have answers to questions like this, is simply unbelievable.
If you get COVID, your body creates an army of B-cells and T-cells, and other cells and substances, to fight the virus. Once this happens your body should have a pretty good protection from serious illness. So, it may be that people were exposed to CoV at some point, and the strain or variety was similar enough to CoV-2 that they effectively fight it with little or no symptoms.
Understanding that you can be exposed to any virus several times and you can actually get sick from it several times is critical at understanding how people might not show symptoms
Here we refer to it as CoViD, D for the Disease, CoViI, I for the Infection, and CoViE, E for Exposure. Not everyone exposed to SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 actually gets sick. So, we would call this CoViE.
People who exhibit the symptoms associated with COVID-19, we would call CoViD, indicating they actually have the disease. And, CoViI, which means they have the infection, but have little or no symptoms.
What is the difference? We really don’t know why there are these 3 states, and we’re not getting information about it. One thing we do hear is that people with all 3 of these conditions can spread the virus.
We can infer from the analysis in the literature of this situation that for some reason people can carry the virus around, spreading it, with no symptoms. Many health experts list these people as the biggest spreaders of the disease, unknowingly contacting other people and spreading it.
I suspect these people do have symptoms, but they are so mild they never consider them to be important.
For most people, being exposed to the virus, CoViE, would cause your body to continually prepare to fight the virus, and you may not have symptoms and it is unlikely you would spread it.
You could be infected with the virus, CoViI, but not really have the disease, and unwittingly spread it all over the place, because your symptoms are so slight.
Whichever the truth of these situations, why our government, or governments of other countries around the world do have the answers are both frustrating and perplexing.
Understanding how the immune system works is essential to understand how the body fights viruses and other pathogens. Most people know that when you have an infection, your white blood cell count goes up. This means you have an active infection and your immune system is reacting by producing cells to fight the infection.
As part of your immune system, you have white blood cells, lymphocytes, called B-cells and T-cells. These cells, when exposed to a virus react in a way to fight the virus, and remember it for some period of time. B-cells are primarily going to fight the infection and are influenced or helped by T-cells to keep the fight going.
Once the infection is under control, the B-cell system declines and the memory of the antigen is mostly the responsibility of memory B-cells and T-cells to remember the antigen, in this case COVID-19.
When you are infected with the virus, your B-cells will react to fight the virus. It’s like a war going on inside your body. It is an amazing system, but also very complicated. The cells multiply to fight the virus.
You also have these cells called macrophages which go around your tissues looking for things that shouldn’t be there, and engulfing them.
What all this means is that when you’re infected with something like the coronavirus, or other viruses, bacteria or pathogens, this system goes into high gear to fight the infection. Once the infection is under control, the body decreases the number of white blood cells produced.
A person who has had COVID-19 can be exposed to it again at any time. It can be the next day after they recovered. But, when they do, the body is like a well-oiled army sitting there waiting for it, and it’s doubtful the virus would have much impact. It might not even show up on a viral test like a PCR test.
As time goes on, if the body is not exposed to it again, T-cells and B-cells decrease but remember the virus so if it shows up again, the body knows how to fight it, and does so very effectively. How long the cells remember the virus is a matter of great debate. Frankly, I don’t know why because we have had a huge amount of experience over the years in dealing with viruses and specifically coronaviruses.
It appears from the literature that the body should have protection against the virus for 3-5 years. This is a hedged estimate because no one wants to advise people and be wrong and accept the liability.
What people fail to understand is that even if you have protection it doesn’t mean you can’t get COVID again. Think of the flu. People report having the flu several times in one year. The flu is a virus too. So, it follows that you can get COVID several times.
The timing seems to be the biggest question. How long am I safe? Well, if you just recovered, your body is ready to fight, and it’s unlikely you will get sick from COVID. You could still be exposed, but not really get sick.
That protection wanes over time. How much time? The literature is suggesting roughly 90 days from the recovery. This seems like a good estimate. Think of the flu again.
Now, all this has been leading to this question: “If I had COVID-19, and I get exposed to it again and again, does that protect me even more?”
It seems that if your body gets exposed and exposed and exposed over and over that would continually stimulate your body to maintain the army to fight it. That seems logical. So, as controversial as it may seem, being continually exposed to a virus or antigen would also continually cause your body to prepare for the fight, thus offering you greater protection. It might extend that memory beyond the 3-5 years and maybe for the rest of your life. We just don’t have the answers, or the will to provide answers to these questions.
We have to learn to live with CoV-2 because it’s not going away. There will be more strains and more sickness. It’s most frustrating that our leaders do not concisely provide us with the information we need. This question should be answered by the officials running the show, but it is doubtful they will. Even if they do, it will be a confusing mash-up of different thoughts and positions.