COVID 19 Reinfection Instances More Likely: Report

Published: July 22, 2020

As per the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, recovering from COVID 19 may not offer long-lasting protection against future reinfections from the same disease, especially for those with mild symptoms. Doubts have also been placed on the significance of herd immunity and the durability of COVID 19 vaccines.

Details of the Study

The study was conducted by taking antibodies from the blood of 34 patients who had already recovered from COVID 19 after suffering mild symptoms that do not need extensive care. Only 2% of these patients were treated with supplemental oxygen and also received HIV medication. Also, none of these patients was put on a ventilator or given remdesivir.

The first analysis was conducted on the antibodies taken an average 37 days after the beginning of symptoms whereas the second was taken after 86 days or less than three months’ time. The researchers found that the antibody levels fell very quickly with a half-life of 73 days between the two-time frames. This happened more quickly as compared to the antibodies generated for SARS disease.

Though there is no other study pointing that reinfection may turn out to be the norm, the antibody response to the disease is being closely monitored. However, further studies are required to define a quantitative protection threshold and rate of decline of antiviral antibodies beyond 90 days.

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