Published: Sat, November 21, 2020
Medical | By

COVID-19 reinfection unlikely for at least six months, study finds

COVID-19 reinfection unlikely for at least six months, study finds

The release said researchers know that when a person is infected with COVID-19, blood levels of multiple cytokines increase.

A separate study found pre-existing immunity from other coronaviruses also protected against Covid.

Dr Katie Jeffery, director of infection prevention and control for Oxford University Hospitals said: "This is an exciting finding, indicating that infection with the virus provides at least short-term protection from reinfection - this news comes in the same month as other encouraging news about Covid-19 vaccines".

Study co-author, Dr Christoph Neumann-Haefelin, Head of the Gerok Liver Center at University Hospital Freiburg, also expressed optimism about their results, suggesting that immunity against the new coronavirus can be achieved after an infection, and that, "similarly, vaccines now being tested in trials could provide significant protection against SARS-CoV-2".

An Australian couple, after attending the wedding of friends, was infected by covid-19 and, together with their three children (who did not go to the party), when tested, showed specific antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 - the surprise came when doctors discovered that none of the children, even one of them sleeping in bed with their parents, contracted the disease.

Antibodies build up during a viral infection and stop the virus from getting inside the body's cells and attacking the rest of the immune system.

Antibodies were undetectable after 50 days in individuals who "develop modest neutralizing antibody titres after infection", while those patients who had more severe symptoms could continue to produce antibodies up to 60 days after infection, that study found.

But none of the three became unwell.

"However, the neutralizing activity of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 has primarily been tested using cells cultured in the laboratory, and how these in vitro results translate to protection in animals or humans has not been determined".

Scientists have been scurrying to understand immunity against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that can lead to Covid-19).

This "spike" is what numerous vaccines in development target.

"We are therefore confident that the majority of people who have survived SARS-CoV-2 infection have some protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2", he added.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, took into consideration various immune facets, including B cells, antibodies and T cells.

Globally, scientists have been studying the immunity response among people infected with covid-19.

Several cases of reinfection have been reported, in which people with confirmed COVID-19 recover and then test positive - with a different strain of the virus - a few months later.

Scientists said the results indicated most people are unlikely to get COVID-19 again if they have already had it in the previous six months.

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