The SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to spread wildly throughout the world. The United States reported an absolute record of infections during 24 hours on yesterday, November 20: over 200,000 people. There are also tens of thousands of infections every day in countries like France, Spain, the UK, Italy, and others.
One of the major concerns regarding the ongoing pandemic is if a person can get infected twice. We all know the usual symptoms of getting ill from the COVID-19 disease: headaches, fever, cough, fatigue, and lack of taste and smell. But unfortunately, getting sick once with the virus doesn’t grant you total immunity.
Reinfection cannot occur for at least six months
According to a new study led by David Eyre, who is a professor at Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health, you are safe and sound for at least half a year if you had the COVID-19 disease once and managed to overcome it. This means that millions of people from all over the world who had the disease and survived can neglect rules like wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, or avoiding contact with others. Furthermore, the same study says that reinfection cases remain extremely rare.
The study was carried out in a cohort of healthcare workers from the UK and who were among those at the highest risk of getting infected with COVID-19. David Eyre declared:
Being infected with COVID-19 does offer protection against re-infection for most people for at least six months,
We found no new symptomatic infections in any of the participants who had tested positive for antibodies.
The study was made for a period of 30 weeks between April and November 2020. During the study, 89 of 11,052 staff that had no antibodies managed to develop a new infection with symptoms. On the other hand, none of the 1,246 staff that had antibodies developed a symptomatic infection.
The researchers will keep following the staff to see how long the protection lasts and whether the previous infection will affect the severity of a hypothetical reinfection.