London: A UK study of healthcare workers at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus pandemic shows that people with COVID-19 are very unlikely to re-infect for at least six months after their first infection.
Researchers at the University of Oxford said the findings would be of some reassurance to those infected with more than 51 million people worldwide.
“This is really good news,” said David Eyre, Nuffield’s Assistant Population Professor at Oxford. Because we can be confident that most people with COVID-19 will never get it again, at least in the short term.” Health co-led research.
Cases of isolated reinfection of COVID-19, a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, raised concerns that immunity could be shortened and recovered patients could soon get sick again.
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However, the results of this study, conducted in a group of UK healthcare workers at the highest risk of getting COVID-19, show that cases of reinfection are extremely rare.
“With COVID-19, most people can prevent re-infection for at least six months,” Eyre said. “No new symptomatic infection was found in the participants who tested positive for the antibody.”
As part of a major employee testing program, the study ran for 30 weeks between April and November 2020. The results were not peer reviewed by other scientists, but were published before being reviewed on the MedRxiv website.
During the study period, 89 of the 11,052 employees without antibodies developed symptomatic new infections, and none of the 1,246 employees with antibodies developed symptomatic infection.
Employees with the antibody are also less likely to test positive for COVID-19 without symptoms, researchers say the number of employees with the antibody is lower compared to 76 people without a positive test compared to three. All three were healthy and did not show symptoms of COVID-19.
Eyre said, “We will continue to carefully follow this group of staff to see how long the protection period lasts and whether previous infections affect the severity of the infection if people become infected again.”