People who have never gotten COVID even after exposure share their stories

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Why do some people not get COVID even after being exposed?
Even with the BA.5 variant running wild in California, there are still those who have never ever gotten COVID despite some close calls.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With the BA.5 variant running wild in California, it seems like nearly everyone has had a brush with COVID -- but there are exceptions -- people who have never ever gotten COVID despite some close calls.

You could call them "COVID virgins." Like this woman who took care of her mom and sister unmasked.

"I was lysoling the house, I locked them in a room and put a towel under the door. Everything was disinfected, but I didn't catch it. I don't know how I didn't. Yeah it was a miracle for sure," Reshtena Arghandiwal said.

Avery Simkin England sipped coffee at an outdoor cafe with her friend. "Just a few weeks ago my dad had it and I'm living at home for the summer with him and he just wore a mask and went upstairs to his room and I just tested negative," England said.

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Her friend, Caroline Johnston said she avoided COVID despite a college roommate testing positive.

"Somehow I have always managed to test negative. Which has been pretty lucky I'd say!"

So why do some people not get infected?

"For people out there who have still not gotten COVID, it's a combination of what their community looks like, their close contacts, their work environment, their level of protection and luck," explained UCSF's Dr. Alok Patel. "There is some research out there that says it's genetic but there's nothing definitive about that yet."

VIDEO: 'COVID is not done with us': Why is the BA.5 COVID-19 variant so contagious?

The virus has evolved into a strain that is highly transmissible BA.5, that can sidestep immunity from previous Omicron infections and vaccinations, health officials say.

Somehow Payam Pakmanesh says he didn't get COVID despite sitting next to someone recently on a plane who had it.

"I'd credit it to overall lifestyle and fitness- just going to the gym, watching what I eat so if you're asking me the split is 80 to 20- 80% due to my lifestyle and 20% due to luck," Pakmanesh said.

"For anyone who has not yet gotten COVID-19, know number one it sucks- and assume you're going to run into it," Dr. Patel said.

So Whether you credit vaccines, masks, luck or genetics- getting the BA.5 variant is likely but not inevitable.


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