With the year about to start, more and more people are recovering from the Coronavirus. Many people have been asking if someone who had the Coronavirus got re-infected or do they have immunity? And if so, is it long term immunity?
Long Term Immunity
Early studies have shown that the COVID-19 antibodies can fade after a short amount of time. However, this study didn't take into consideration the multiple levels of defense in our immune system. Recent Studies Suggest Lasting Immunity Even in People with Mild Symptoms. A flurry of recent studies has found lasting antibodies and immune cells called B-cells and T-cells, months after the infection subsided, even in patients with only mild symptoms (T cells have memory which allows them to attack an infection in the body. They also communicate with the B cells and inform them how to create new antibodies).
Previous studies suggested that there is no lasting immunity. The reason for this change is because the studies are looking at different types of antibodies. The earlier studies were looking at IgA antibodies, which current studies confirmed rapidly decayed after about a month, while IgG antibodies have been found over 115 days after the symptoms subsided. This is very encouraging news, as it may mean that people may be immune longer, whether it's from contracting the disease, or from an eventual vaccine.
Can people get re-infected?
Many studies have been done to test whether or not people can get infected with the Coronavirus twice. Most physicians agree that it is unlikely to get Coronavirus twice, However, here have been many people who have gotten sick twice, but the question remains – did they catch it again or did the disease reemerge. With similar viruses, studies have shown that people could get sick again three months to a year after their first infections. It's still too early to know whether that's also possible with the coronavirus.
Since the Coronavirus is still in the early stages of research and it hasn't been around so long, it is hard to say for certain whether or not people get it again because the disease lingers a long time in one's body or because they got re-infected. As the pandemic goes on we hope to get more promising results and answers regarding these questions.
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