Reinfection unlikely for 6 months

Grant Boone
November 21, 2020

The authors claimed that this is the first study of its kind, incorporating antigen-specific antibody, memory B cell, CD8+ T cell, and CD4+ T cell measurements, out past 6 months post-infection.

According to Business Insider, the study authors wrote: "Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection that generated antibody response offered protection from reinfection for most people in the six months following infections".

The more antibodies people had, the lower their chances of re-infection.

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".

In the first trial to judge whether antibodies actually prevent people from getting the virus for a second time, researchers tracked 12,180 healthcare workers, of whom roughly 10 per cent had caught coronavirus.

Scientists had feared that those who developed only mild infections would be unlikely to have a strong immune response, but nearly all developed cells capable of creating new antibodies if they encountered the virus again.

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As record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 infections continue to surge across the USA, scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital say they've found a possible COVID-19 treatment, and suggest that the "process driving life-threatening inflammation, lung damage and organ failure in patients with COVID-19, sepsis and other inflammatory disorders" could possibly be treated using existing drugs. In the same period, 76 staff without antibodies tested positive but didn't have any symptoms.

But none of the three became unwell.

This study mirrors the recent results of research from Iceland. "It gives us hope that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 could last for several years", said Prof Deborah Dunn-Walters, Professor of Immunology at University of Surrey and Chair of the British Society for Immunology expert advisory group on covid-19 Immunology.

The staff tested were followed for up to 30 weeks. Even beyond Covid-19, delirium is a common symptom in older adults with severe disease. The researchers focused on a select set of the most elevated cytokines in COVID-19 patients, the hospital said. Treatment with these drugs protected mice from death associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, sepsis, and more.

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. The researchers determined that this is partly because, in addition to blocking viral entry, the antibodies can activate various types of white blood cells.

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