LONDON – Individuals who have had COVID-19 are extremely prone to have immunity to it for not less than 5 months however there’s proof that these with antibodies should still be capable of carry and unfold the virus, a UK examine of healthcare employees has discovered.
Preliminary findings by scientists at Public Well being England (PHE) confirmed that reinfections in individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies from a previous an infection are uncommon – with solely 44 circumstances discovered amongst 6 614 beforehand contaminated individuals within the examine.
However consultants cautioned that the findings imply individuals who contracted the illness within the first wave of the pandemic within the early months of 2020 might now be susceptible to catching it once more.
Additionally they warned that folks with so-called “pure immunity” – acquired by having had the an infection – should still find a way carry the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus of their nostril and throat, and will unwittingly go it on.
“We now know that almost all of those that have had the virus, and developed antibodies, are shielded from reinfection, however this isn’t complete and we don’t but know the way lengthy safety lasts,” mentioned Susan Hopkins, senior medical adviser at PHE and co-leader of the examine, whose findings had been printed on Thursday.
“This implies even in case you consider you already had the illness and are protected, you may be reassured it’s extremely unlikely you’ll develop extreme infections. However there’s nonetheless a threat you can purchase an an infection and transmit (it) to others.”
An announcement on the examine mentioned its findings didn’t handle antibody or different immune responses to vaccines now being rolled out towards COVID-19, or on how efficient vaccines can be. Vaccine responses will probably be thought-about later this yr, it mentioned.
The analysis, often called the SIREN examine, includes tens of hundreds of healthcare employees in Britain who’ve been examined commonly since June for brand new COVID-19 infections in addition to for the presence of antibodies.
Between June 18 and November 24 scientists detected 44 potential reinfections – two “possible” and 42 “attainable” – out of 6 614 individuals who had examined constructive for antibodies. This represents an 83 per cent fee of safety from reinfection, they mentioned.
The researchers plan to proceed following and assessing the individuals to see if this pure immunity would possibly last more than 5 months in some. However they warned that early proof from the subsequent stage of the examine already suggests some individuals with immunity can nonetheless carry excessive ranges of virus and will transmit it to others.
“It’s due to this fact essential that everybody continues to observe the foundations and stays at house, even when they’ve beforehand had COVID-19,” they mentioned within the assertion about their outcomes. (Reuters)