COVID-19 Reinfection Unlikely For 6 Months, Says Study

Henrietta Brewer
November 20, 2020

While the evidence so far on COVID-19 shows a pattern of nine days of infectiousness, researchers did not offer a suggestion as to how long quarantine periods should last, since their study only looked at confirmed cases and not individuals who may have been exposed.

The study backs up what previous research has shown to date but adds the weight of being the longest and most comprehensive on the subject, the Times said. Filling these gaps in knowledge using both animal models and longitudinal studies in large patient cohorts is vital for the formulation of effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the authors say. Part of the reason researchers studied all three diseases was to determine why COVID-19 has spread more rapidly than the earlier diseases.

The numbers reported by MTN reflect the latest data from the Montana COVID website, along with supplemental data received from health departments in the following counties within the last 24 hours: Big Horn, Blaine, Cascade, Gallatin, Garfield, Glacier, Granite, Hill, Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Silver Bow, and Sweet Grass.

Moreover, the results of the study also strengthen another finding that people who acquired SARS, another form of human coronavirus, and recovered from it still carry essential immune cells even after 17 years of recovering from the deadly disease.


CONTEXT: Not every person who tests positive actually becomes ill or exhibits symptoms.

Dr. Muge Cevik, of the University of St Andrews, told the BBC: "People really need to be supported to make sure they isolate as soon as they get symptoms, however mild".

Examining the components of immune memory, the scientists found that that antibodies were "durable" with only "modest declines" emerging at six to eight months. "By the time some people get the results of swabs, they may be past their most infectious phase".

Researchers found that eight months after infection, recovered patients still had enough B cells and T cells, which are essential for fighting off the virus in their bodies. And while there have been cases of reinfection, they seem to be rare, per the Times. This was done to create a greater idea of the immune response to COVID-19 infection. One study discovered that citizens who have recovered from Covid-19 hold powerful, "killer immune cells", regardless of if they present antibodies or not.


The study is the first to chart the immune response to a virus in such granular detail, experts said.

Dr Steves said: "Right at the beginning of the pandemic we noticed just anecdotally that patients with coronavirus were coming in with acute confusion and disorientation". One frequently cited study, led by Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University, suggested that immunity might fade quickly and that reinfections could occur within a year.

Another, perhaps more hopeful, study shows that immunity might last years, possibly even decades.


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