- Smitha Mondasad
- Correspondence to health affairs
A recent study in Britain stated that most of those infected with the Covid-19 epidemic are protected from catching the Corona virus again for at least five months.
Scientists participating in a study conducted by Public Health England concluded that people who have contracted the epidemic are 83 percent less likely to have it again, compared to people who have not had the disease at all.
But experts warn that some people do actually catch the epidemic again and can transmit the infection to others.
‘Save other lives’
Professor Susan Hopkins, who oversaw the research team, said the results were encouraging.
She added that immunity lasted longer than some people had feared, but recovering from the epidemic does not provide absolute protection.
And she added, saying that the issue is especially related to people who have been strongly re-infected by the epidemic – even without symptoms appearing on them – and who pose a danger to the people who come into contact with them, as the infection can be transmitted to them.
She went on to say, “This means that if you have been exposed to the epidemic and feel protected, you can rest assured that it is very unlikely that you will get a severe infection, but there is still a risk of catching the infection and transmitting it to others.”
“Now more than ever, it is very important that we all stay in our homes in order to maintain our health services and save our lives,” she said.
Can I be infected with Coronavirus twice?
Between June and November 2020, about 21,000 health workers in the United Kingdom underwent tests to identify those infected with the Coronavirus during the study period and who had previously contracted it.
The tests indicated that among those people whose bodies were free of antibodies, which indicates that they did not have the epidemic in the past, 318 people caught the infection during the mentioned time period.
But of the 6,614 people with antibodies, the number did not exceed 44.
Scientists continue to monitor healthcare workers for 12 months to see how long the immunity will last.
They will also closely monitor new cases of strains from the epidemic – which were not common when this analysis was first conducted – while monitoring the degree of immunity of participants receiving the vaccine.
Dr Julian Tang, a virus expert at the University of Leicester, said the results were reassuring for health care workers.
He added: “It is likely that taking the vaccine after recovering from Covid-19 … will enhance natural immunity.”
“We see that also in the seasonal cold vaccination,” he said.
He concluded by saying, “That is why we hope that the results of this study will reduce the anxieties that afflict several health care workers due to fears that they will be exposed to the Covid-19 epidemic twice.”