COVID 19: infected but recovered people could transmit the virus again

The likelihood of becoming reinfected after a coronavirus infection is extremely low, at least within five months, according to a new study from the United Kingdom. For the study, scientists from Public Health England examined 6614 healthcare workers who had tested positive for corona antibodies between June and November.

Only 44 subjects were found to have a new infection within this five-month period. Thus, 83 percent of the study participants were immune for at least five months.

The study has only been published in preliminary form and has not yet been peer-reviewed. The authors also note that initial results from the next phase of the study suggest that some of those re-infected may again have a high viral load and infect others.

“We now know that most of those who have contracted the virus and developed antibodies are protected from reinfection,” explained lead author Susan Hopkins. But the protection is not complete, she said, and it is also still unclear how long immunity lasts overall after surviving a corona infection. The realization that re-infected people could transmit the virus again is also extremely important, she said.

A study by Oxford University published in December in the New England Journal of Medicine, which also examined health care workers, found immunity of at least six months in most subjects.

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