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Can you catch the same virus twice?
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Can you catch the same virus twice?

I was in the emergency room a couple days ago with what everyone in town is referring to as the "4 Day Virus."

Co-workers and friends from the gym have had the exact same thing, with the exact same symptoms.

*Vomiting - Not being able to hold down any food or fluids
*Diarrhea - After about the third bowel movement, it turned into water and was occuring approximately 20 to 30 times within an hour. Often causing accidents, not making it to the toilet.
*Stomach cramps
*Nausea
*Severe body aches - I felt like I had been hit by a car. Lightning bolts of pain were shooting throught my neck, shoulders and back, but the worst was my legs. From my hips down, they felt like they were in a vice.

The ER pumped 4 bags in me, through IV and added Zofran in the first two and Dolotted and Phenergen in the last two. The doctor said he had no clue what it was from or how I got it and that he checked my urine twice and on the second time noticed a skight hint of a bladder infection, though he said he doubted any of the symptoms would have stemmed from the "virus" I was experiencing.

So my main question (I get of course easily) is "Can I get this virus again?" And I'm asking because I woke up this morning and my mom (who already has fibro) is sick with it in the master bathroom and a friend who lives with us and was helping to take care of me was sick with this virus in the guest bathroom. I'm so scared I'm going to get it again. I want to help them both but it's obvious that extreme precautions can't even keep you from getting this virus. My mom is borderline OCD and was lysal'ing EVERYTHING and passing out hand sanitizer like tic tacs. YET, she woke this morning with it. A chiropractor told me that you can't catch catch the same virus twice...I find that hard to believe and just wanted to get a few more opinions on the matter before I risk catching it again. Can it be airborne? Can I get it again if I try to help take care of them? I can't imagine this turning into a never ending circle of this horrible virus. If anyone can help with any of these questions and concerns, I would greatly appreciate it.


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Your friend is half right.  When you catch a virus your body studies it, looking for some novel protein from the outer coat that is totally unlike any protein the body uses.  The body than (between 6 days and 6 weeks later) starts to manufacture antibodies that seek out and destroy anything that uses that protein.  Against many viruses this strategy works great, and you can't catch those viruses again.  This includes chicken pox, mumps.  Other viruses mutate so fast that by the time your body comes up with an antibody against one version, they have mutated into a different form.  So the answer is, MANY viruses you can only catch once, but not quite all.    Without knowing exactly what virus you have, there's no way to know for 100% certain if you are safe.  
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