- According to the study, the antibodies will start to disappear 20 to 30 days after showing symptoms.
- The antibodies can only last for several months, lasting longer for those who have had severe cases.
- People can still get re-infected as time goes by and the outbreaks can become seasonal.
The only good thing that comes with being infected with the novel coronavirus is being immune from it after you have healed. However, a study suggests that natural immunity may only last for a short while.
According to a new pre-print paper released on the medical server medrxiv.org, the antibodies that reside in the body after getting infected by COVID-19 will start to disappear 20 to 30 days after symptoms of the virus emerge.
Antibodies are the proteins in the body that fights off infections.
During the early days of the pandemic, the World Health Organization has stated that getting infected with the virus does not necessarily guarantee immunity.
Those who healed from the virus may not be in the clear yet.
The researchers from the UK wrote that the ” IgM and IgA binding responses decline after 20-30 days.” Samples were collected from 65 patients who were confirmed to have the virus up to 94 days after exhibiting symptoms.
The study also took samples from 31 health workers who had undergone antibody tests every one or two weeks, between March and June.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can generally take one to three weeks after getting infected for the body to produce antibodies.
The study has yet to be peer-reviewed but according to Stephen Griffins, associate professor in the University of Leeds School of Medicine in the UK, the study is important and “the research has been rigorously undertaken.”
He said that the research confirms that the antibody responses in people infected with SARS-COV2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19) appear to dissipate quickly.
The antibodies can only last for several months, lasting longer for those who have had severe cases.
Griffins added that people can still get re-infected as time goes by and the outbreaks can become seasonal. He said that vaccines being developed will have to be stronger and can provide longer-lasting protection, or may need to be administered regularly.
Experts fear that outbreaks can become seasonal.
The study is just one of the several researches suggesting that natural immunity to COVID-19 may not last as initially hoped. A study from the Spanish government found that only 5% of people in Spain have coronavirus antibodies and that the immunity wears off after just a few weeks.
The study also revealed that 95% of the population in Spain remains vulnerable to the virus.
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