COVID-19 Reinfection 'Highly Unlikely' For At Least Six Months

A slew of positive clinical vaccine trials is building hope for an end to the pandemic

A study by the University of Oxford finds that people who have had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract it again for at least six months after the first infection.

The study ran for 30 weeks, ending in November, and included some 12,000 healthcare workers at Oxford University hospitals.

"This is really good news, because we can be confident that, at least in the short term, most people who get COVID-19 won't get it again", David Eyre of the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Population Health was quoted as saying.

"We will follow this group of staff closely to see how long the protection lasts and whether the previous infection affects the severity of the infection if people become infected again", Ayre said.

"We are seeing sustained levels of immune response in humans so far", Mike Ryan, WHO's top emergency expert, told a news conference on Friday.

Comparing mothers with and without Covid-19 diagnosed at any time during pregnancy, the Covid-19 virus did not increase the risk of adverse outcomes, including preterm birth, preeclampsia with severe features, or cesarean delivery for abnormal fetal heart rate.

Those three were all well and did not develop COVID-19 symptoms, they added.

The researchers then followed whether staff who had been infected before had the same number of new COVID-19 infections as those who had not been infected before. Septic shock suggested an untreated urinary infection, E. coli in his body from his own feces hinted at poor hygiene, and aspiration pneumonia indicated Wallace, who needed help with meals, had likely choked on his food.

Of the 11,000 or so staff members who didn't show signs of the antibody, only 89 of them developed a new infection that showed symptoms.

One excellent idea is frequent testing of nursing home employees, who clearly are the most likely sources of infections among their patients.

Susan Hopkins, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, PHE and one of the study's authors said: This study is a fantastic example of how well-structured long-term cohort surveillance can produce hugely useful results.

Several cases of reinfection have been reported, in which people with confirmed COVID-19 recover and then test positive - with a different strain of the virus - a few months later.

However, the ongoing study has an end goal of verifying how long protection from reinfection lasts in total.

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