Immunity to Coronavirus Could Last Years, Researchers Say

Saturday, 21 Nov, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the study saying the findings extended its understanding of coronavirus protection.

"Our study demonstrates that it is critical to recognize that older adults with COVID-19 may present with delirium as the primary or sole symptom", the study says. Only three (0.24 per cent) of these people later tested positive, and none of them went on to develop symptoms.

The study participants were also asked about their recent behaviors so that researchers could identify any activities that may be linked to an increased likelihood of getting COVID-19.

During the study, 89 of 11,052 staff without antibodies developed a new infection with symptoms while none of the 1246 staff with antibodies developed a symptomatic infection.

However, it is said to be the most comprehensive and longitudinal study of COVID-19 immunity thus far. "These findings suggest that in clinical practice, repeat PCR testing may not be needed to deem that a patient is no longer infectious, as this could remain positive for much longer and does not necessarily indicate they could pass on the virus to others". "But this latest study shows that there is some immunity in those who have been infected".

Individuals infected with coronavirus are unlikely to catch the illness again for at least six months, researchers at the University of Oxford said Friday. Besides, antibodies are just one arm of the immune system.

A vaccine would typically help them. The researchers believe the dogs could pick up the virus from surfaces while they are being taken for a walk outside.

It's still unclear what proportion of people infected with COVID-19 produce antibodies.

Globally, more than 57.06 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus and 1,362,744 have died.

Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the COVID-19 Infection Survey, said: "There are early signs that the national level of infections in England might be levelling off but this hides a lot of variation at a regional level".

The neutralizing antibodies against the infection are capable of protecting against secondary infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Nevertheless, the group's result is consistent with emerging data coming from other labs, such as a study that was published in the journal "Nature Medicine" that showed COVID-19 survivors have "powerful and protective killer immune cells".

University of Arizona immunologist Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya added, "I don't think it's an unreasonable prediction to think that these immune memory components would last for years". "The majority of studies included in our review were performed in patients who were admitted to hospital".

The number of new cases is levelling off in Scotland, while in Wales and Northern Ireland the situation is improving as the number of cases drop.

The decline continues and the amount of antibodies falls below detectable levels in most people 137 days after their peak reading.

However, there are hopes after the study indicated that reinfection is extremely rare. The human immune system then makes antibodies to fight the virus proteins.

Open in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines and treatments in development. Cases represented a range of asymptomatic, mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 cases, including 41 cases at over 6 months post-infection.