Infection Control Expert Weighs In on Whether Or Not You May Have Already Had Coronavirus If You Were Sick in January


It seems that all we hear about anymore is the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Businesses have shut down. Schools are closed. As many people as possible are working remotely, many for the first time. 

The thing is, COVID-19 is new. We really didn’t start hearing a lot about it until recently. In fact, supposedly, the first time anyone had symptoms of the coronavirus in the U.S. was in January. Or, was it?

Winter is cold and flu season, so we’re used to getting a sore throat, a mild cough, a runny nose, and possibly even a fever. We don’t really worry about these symptoms most of the time. We tend to assume we caught whatever was going around, that particular year’s strain of cold or flu.

Now, with coronavirus on everyone’s mind, some people are wondering if what they dismissed as a cold or flu back in January could have actually been the virus that’s currently on everyone’s mind. Is that possible? It seems logical since there was one reported case in January, but what do the experts think?

Dr. Shanu Agarwal has answers to some of our burning questions like was it possible that I had the coronavirus in January, and if so, does that mean I’m immune? Watch the video below to find out.

Even if you think you had the coronavirus, it’s too early to know if that makes you immune. Please take caution and take the pandemic seriously by following advice like washing your hands and practicing social distancing.

If you currently have symptoms of the coronavirus, please follow Dr. Agarwal’s advice to stay home (self-quarantine) for the recommended 14 days so you don’t chance passing the virus on to someone else. Don’t have enough quarantine snacks or toilet paper? That’s what delivery is for. You could ask a friend or family member to go shopping for you and leave the bags of groceries on your porch, or you could take advantage of a delivery service like Uber Eats or Shipt. If you do a delivery service, we recommend adding a note asking the person delivering your order to leave it outside your door. That way you won’t risk spreading the virus to the delivery person.

As a reminder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the common coronavirus symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.

Stay home, and stay safe. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more about the coronavirus pandemic.

Do you think you had the novel coronavirus in December or January?