Wilber Portillo Denver teen dies after contracting COVID-19 a second time. How developing immunity isn’t a sure thing after initial contraction.
Wilber Portillo, 18, first contracted the deadly virus after traveling with his cousin to Los Angeles, the Denverite reported.
Two months after recovering from the virus, he was tricken again, developing a fever following a party where two other people tested positive for the COVID-19, the outlet reported.
Portillo went to the doctor’s office on Nov. 18, where he was told he had a ‘really strong infection in his lungs.’
‘That was the last [time] I heard from him,’ Portillo’s girlfriend, Andrea Ferrel, told KDVR.
‘He was a guy with a lot of light’
That night, the teen died in his sleep.
‘It’s a little bit difficult to know that he doesn’t exist physically anymore,’ Portillo’s uncle, Oscar Castillo told Denverite. ‘He was a guy with a lot of light.’
It’s not known what caused his death, but the doctor’s office informed his family two days later that he had tested positive for the virus.
‘It just took us by surprise how it happened,’ Castillo said. ‘We will never find out what caused his death.’
Portillo’s parents brought him to the United States when he was five. Two years later, his parents returned to their homeland, El Salvador. Portillo did not want to leave and moved in with Castillo.
Reports didn’t confirm whether Portillo — an urban farmer and budding entrepreneur — had become sick with a mutated strain of the virus.
Health experts have said that reinfection is possible, but cases are rare.
What are the chances of re-infection?
Public Health England, an association of health care workers in Great Britain, noted that studies show antibody infection typically lasts five months. The potential for reinfection is typically higher in health care workers or those who work in essential roles that are public-facing.
Portillo’s cousin, Jamie Gomez-Gonzalez, is now urging people to take the virus seriously, ‘no matter how young or healthy you may seem.’
‘Please stay at home as much as you can.’ he wrote on a GoFundMe page to cover funeral costs.
Last year Portillo started a YouTube channel he called “My Journey My Success,” the name he gave his sporting goods business. He posted a half dozen videos in which he talked about hobbies such as snowboarding, described his dream of becoming ‘the most successful person that I can be,’ and offered advice to others on how to achieve their goals. He urged viewers to be disciplined and seek out mentors.