British scientists have come up with a novelty regarding the coronavirus. Most people who have overcome COVID-19 are protected from re-infection for up to five months.
The British government announced this on its official website on Thursday, citing the results of a study by the English Public Health Authority (PHE).
However, experts have warned that the virus may also be present in the nasal cavity and throat of immunocompromised individuals. Therefore, they can be spreaders of the infection.
More about immunity
The PHE experts in the study concluded that the immunity acquired after overcoming COVID-19 disease provided 83% protection against re-infection compared to people who did not develop the disease. This acquired immunity can last up to five months from the first signs of the disease. Between 18 June and 24 November 2020, researchers identified 44 possible cases of re-infection among 6,614 study participants who tested positive for antibodies.
However, initial results from the next phase of research suggest that some immunocompromised people have large amounts of the virus in their bodies and may pass the infection on to others.
That is why it is important to follow measures in the areas of home insulation, hand washing, wearing towels and keeping spacing, the British government writes. “This study provides the clearest picture yet of the origin of antibody protection against COVID-19,” said physician Susan Hopkins of PHE, who is leading the study.
“However, it is important that people do not misunderstand these initial findings.”
From June to October, PHE performed PCR and antibody tests on a sample of 20,787 healthcare professionals in a study called SIREN. Experts will follow the study participants for another 12 months to find out how long the immunity will last and to what extent these people will spread the infection.
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