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Elon Musk says he 'supposedly' has COVID-19 again: 'Virus of Theseus'

In November 2020, Elon Musk had shared results of his COVID-19 tests, and had said that "something extremely bogus is going on".

March 28, 2022 / 03:04 PM IST
COVID-19: Elon Musk said he is showing

COVID-19: Elon Musk said he is showing "almost no symptoms".

Billionaire Elon Musk said he may "supposedly" have caught COVID-19 again and that he is showing almost no symptoms of infection.

"Covid-19 is the virus of Theseus. How many gene changes before it’s not Covid-19 anymore? I supposedly have it again (sigh), but almost no symptoms," the Tesla chief tweeted.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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In November 2020, Elon Musk had shared results of his COVID-19 tests, and had said that "something extremely bogus is going on". In a tweet then, he said he tested positive on two rapid antigen tests, but tested negative on two other tests. He had said he had symptoms of a typical cold, and "nothing unusual so far".

Some research has suggested that rapid antigen tests are less sensitive than RT-PCR tests while detecting the coronavirus.

In 2020, Musk had  criticised coronavirus-related restrictions and lockdowns, referring to those as "fascist" and an infringement on individual liberty.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 28, 2022 02:42 pm
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