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COVID does not recur for six months - Oxford study

Monday November 23rd 2020

People infected with COVID-19 are unlikely to succumb to the virus again for at least six months, according to a new study.

The Oxford University study casts new light on the question of how long immune protection lasts against the virus.

The findings come from a study of health care workers in Oxford and found that out of 1,246 people with antibodies, not one fell ill with COVID-19 subsequently. Three tested positive for the virus but not one of these developed symptoms.

More than 12,000 staff took part in the research and during the research 89 people out of the 11,000 without antibodies developed symptoms and confirmed infection.

Researcher Professor David Eyre said: “This ongoing study involving a large cohort of healthcare workers has shown that being infected with COVID-19 does offer protection against re-infection for most people for at least six months – we found no new symptomatic infections in any of the participants who had tested positive for antibodies, while 89 of those who had tested negative did contract the virus.

“This is really good news, because we can be confident that, at least in the short term, most people who get COVID-19 won’t get it again.

“We know from a previous study that antibody levels fall over time, but this latest study shows that there is some immunity in those who have been infected. We will continue to follow this cohort of staff carefully to see how long protection lasts and whether previous infection affects the severity of infection if people do get infected again.”

Dr Katie Jeffery, director of infection control for Oxford University Hospitals, said the finding was “exciting.”

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are associated with protection against reinfection. MedRxiv 19 November 2020

[abstract]

Tags: Flu & Viruses | UK News

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