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Current Affairs

Immunity from Covid-19

Date: 18 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A new study says that people infected with COVID-19 in the past are likely to be protected against re-infection for several months.

 

Background

The duration of immunity to Covid-19 has been a subject of research through the pandemic, and studies so far have provided various results.

 

Details

  • The longevity of immunity against a disease varies from disease to disease and one of the factors influencing this is the amount of neutralising antibodies produced by the infected person.

  • Experts have warned that even people with immunity may still be able to carry the virus in their nose and throat and therefore have a risk of transmitting it to others. 

  • They have suggested that individuals who have acquired the disease and recovered from it continue to take all precautions such as wearing masks, regularly washing their hands, and maintaining a distance of at least two metres from others.

Findings

  • Researchers have been testing tens of thousands of healthcare workers since June for COVID-19 infections as well as the presence of antibodies.

  • Two probable cases of re-infections reported having experienced COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic but were not tested. These two patients reported having less severe symptoms the second time.

  • None of the 44 potential re-infections were tested using PCR during the first wave, but tested positive for antibodies subsequently.

  • Scientists have concluded that naturally acquired immunity as a result of past infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus provides 83 per cent protection against re-infection, compared to people who have not had the disease before.

  • This protection appears to last for a period of five months from the time that the person first became sick from COVID-19.