Study Finds Nearly Everyone Who Is Infected Carries Antibodies, But It’s Still Unclear How Long Protection Lasts
Having antibodies is not the same as having immunity to the virus, but still scientists are hopeful about the results.
The New York Times:
After Recovery From The Coronavirus, Most People Carry Antibodies
A new study offers a glimmer of hope in the grim fight against the coronavirus: Nearly everyone who has had the disease — regardless of age, sex or severity of illness — makes antibodies to the virus. The study, posted online on Tuesday but not yet reviewed by experts, also hints that anyone who has recovered from infection may safely return to work — although it is unclear how long their protection might last. “This is very good news,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York who was not involved with the work. (Mandavilli, 5/7)
Do Antibodies Against The Novel Coronavirus Prevent Reinfection?
But scientists don't know whether people who have been exposed to the coronavirus will be immune for life, as is usually the case for the measles, or if the disease will return again and again, like the common cold. "This to me is one of the big unanswered questions that we have," says Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, "because it really says, 'What is the full exit strategy to this and how long are we going to be contending with it?'" (Harris, 5/7)
New COVID-19 Study Raises Immunity Hopes For Recovered Patients
The study, which was published in the Nature Medicine journal by researchers at Chongquin Medical University, “brings much-needed clarity, along with renewed enthusiasm” to efforts to develop and implement widescale antibody testing, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins wrote Thursday in a blog post. “Although more follow-up work is needed to determine just how protective these antibodies are and for how long, these findings suggest that the immune systems of people who survive COVID-19 have been primed to recognize SARS-CoV-2 and possibly thwart a second infection,” he wrote, using the technical name for the specific coronavirus causing the disease. (Hellmann, 5/7)