CDC: West Virginia Doctor Had H1N1 - Twice

It is possible to contract the H1N1 virus twice, a West Virginia doctor learned the hard way, Charleston's Daily Mail reported.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed that a West Virginia physician had the H1N1 virus twice — once in August and again in October.

Dr. Debra Parsons, a pediatrician in Cross Lanes, W. Va., first became ill this summer, the same time her son did. Parsons tested herself for the virus, and it came back positive for the H1N1 Influenza A strain.

When Parsons experienced flu-like symptoms again in October, even worse than those she had in August, she tested herself again. The test came back positive again for H1N1.

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Health officials in West Virginia were skeptical at first.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said he was "aware of no data or scientific body of research or case reports" proving a person could have the disease twice.

However, the CDC tested specimens from both of Parsons' H1N1 tests, confirming they both tested positive for the virus.

"They said this happens every year with the seasonal flu, so there's no reason to expect that it won't happen with swine flu," Parsons told the newspaper. "Every flu strain can change a little bit."

At a news conference Wednesday, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, says it is not impossible for a person to get the flu twice.

However, Gupta is still doubtful. He said if you've had the virus once, your body should build an immunity to it for the future.

"That would mean you have a problem with your immune function," he said.

Parsons said she knows of no problems with her immune system.

Click here to read more on this story from the Daily Mail.