Two new studies, which have been done recently have shown that people who have been infected with coronavirus once are less likely to test positive for COVID19 again for up to six months and most likely for even longer. Experts have claimed that people who have been found to have antibodies from natural infections are at low risk of COVID19 reinfection. They have said that it is the same kind of immunity people get from an efficient vaccine against reinfection. One of the studies has been led by Dr. Ned Sharpless, the director of the US National Cancer Institute. He has said that it is quite rare that a recovered COVID19 patient is diagnosed with reinfection. As per the report, both studies have used two types of tests. One is a blood test for antibodies, which latches on to the virus and eventually kills it. However, antibodies can persist in human bodies for several months after the infection. The other type of test used in the studies acts on nasal or other samples to identify traces of the virus, which finds out recent viral infection.
The findings of one study have been released in the journal called the New England Journal of Medicine. This study has included more than 12500 health workers from Oxford University Hospitals in the UK. Around 1256 out of all participants have been found to have antibodies against coronavirus in the beginning. Only two of them have been diagnosed with COVID19 again in the following six months. These two people have not shown any symptoms of the disease during the infection. On the other hand, 223 out of 11364 people who have not been diagnosed with antibodies have tested positive for COVID19 within the following six months. The other study, which has been done by the National Cancer Institute, has included more than 3 million people who have undergone antibody tests at two private labs in the US. Experts have found that less than 1 percent of people who have been diagnosed with antibodies have tested positive for COVID19. While 3 percent of people who have not been identified with antibodies have been diagnosed with the virus. Oxford scientists as well have seen a reduced risk of reinfection among people who have been infected with the virus once. They have said that people with antibodies are at 10 times lower risk of being diagnosed with the disease again. The findings of their study have been released in a major medical journal.
Infectious Disease expert, Dr. Joshua Wolf has said that the outcomes of these studies are not surprising rather it has reassured people that immunity to the virus is quite common. He has said that antibodies are not only part of the protection. The findings of the studies have shown that other parts of the immune system are capable of identifying and warding off any new exposure to the virus. However, Joshua Wolf has said that experts are unsure that how long this immunity will last. He has said that there are many cases of people getting COVID19 reinfection after being infected once. Therefore, people need to take precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks to protect themselves and others from the virus.