“Really good news”: re-infection of COVID-19 unlikely for 6 months, study finds

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More than 51 million people around the world have been infected with COVID-19. (File)

London:

People who have had COVID-19 are very unlikely to contract it again for at least six months after their first infection, according to a British study of healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The results should reassure the more than 51 million people around the world who have been infected with the pandemic disease, researchers at the University of Oxford said.

“This is really good news, because we can be sure that, at least in the short term, most people who contract COVID-19 will no longer get it,” said David Eyre, professor in the health department of the people of Nuffield in Oxford, who co-led the study.

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Isolated cases of reinfection with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, had raised fears that immunity would be short-lived and that recovered patients could quickly fall ill again.

But the results of this study, conducted in a cohort of British healthcare workers – who are among the people most at risk of contracting COVID-19 – suggest that cases of reinfection will likely remain extremely rare.

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“Being infected with COVID-19 offers protection against reinfection for most people for at least six months,” Eyre said. “We did not find any new symptomatic infections in any of the participants who had tested positive for the antibodies.”

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The study, which is part of a large staff testing program, covered a 30-week period between April and November 2020. Its results have not been reviewed by other scientists, but were published before their release. review on MedRxiv website.

During the study, 89 of the 11,052 staff without antibodies developed a new infection with symptoms, while none of the 1,246 staff with antibodies developed a symptomatic infection.

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Staff with antibodies were also less likely to test positive for COVID-19 without symptoms, the researchers said, with 76 without antibodies testing positive, compared to just three with antibodies. These three were all fine and did not develop symptoms of COVID-19, they added.

“We will continue to closely monitor this cohort of staff to see how long the protection lasts and whether a previous infection affects the severity of the infection if people are infected again,” Eyre said.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)

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