Could COVID survivors be immune to getting the virus again?

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 8:47 AM CDT
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(WAFF) - A new study shows that those who have had coronavirus could produce COVID antibodies for up to 5 to 7 months after infection. Does that mean they’re immune to the virus for that period? Not exactly...

“It’s not enough to know there are antibodies,” says Dr. Ali Hassoun, an infectious disease specialist at Huntsville Hospital. “We need to know if these antibodies are still good enough to fight the infection."

In this recent study, researchers did not check if people had indeed been exposed to COVID a second time and resisted it. They simply found that patients had good antibody levels, which can indicate immunity, though not always.

“We’ve seen it actually even in those infected with the virus… You see an antibody level, but still that patient will still develop the infection, and it can be severe.”

While this new study showed antibody levels lasting for up to 5 to 7 months, more studies have shown levels lasting for about 3 to 4 months. Still, these levels do not guarantee immunity.

“I don’t think we have the full picture because as a human being, all of us can be different in the way of how we react to an infection,” says Dr. Hassoun. “So, I think one level of antibodies is not good enough to make judgement.”

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