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If you contract the new coronavirus, are you going to develop immunity against that?
As scientists scramble to create a vaccine, those who have already contracted COVID-19 and recovered may wonder: do I have immunity? Perhaps, according to experts, but it is probably too early to be sure. But applying what we know to other similar viruses could be useful in trying to understand immunity and how it applies to COVID-19.
“There is always some immunity when you get a virus – but the question is how long does it last?” Right now we are learning the answers to this question, “former chief medical officer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Robert Amler, told Fox News.
There are four main subgroups of coronaviruses that make up about 10 to 30 percent of common colds. Most people have been exposed to these coronaviruses before and may have developed some immunity to one or more of the following infections. But immunity doesn’t seem to last a lifetime, Ann Falsey, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester medical school, told NPR.
“Almost everyone is walking around, if you were to test their blood right now, they would have certain levels of antibodies to the four different coronaviruses that are known,” she said, but added that “most respiratory viruses only give you a kinship period I’m talking about a year or two, that’s what we know about seasonal coronaviruses. “
Researchers who participated in a small study macaque monkeys have discovered that animals develop immunity against SARS-CoV-2, or the virus responsible for COVID-19, after exposure. But as a live science Notes, “Longer and larger follow-up studies need to be done in primates to learn how immunity to the virus persists over time, and these results have yet to be compared to clinical results in humans.”
In addition, the virus could mutate – a recent study by Chinese scientists suggests that he once once – which means that the same people infected once before could be infected again with a new strain, ultimately causing a second wave of disease.
Experts also say that some people previously infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), two other human coronaviruses similar to COVID-19, have developed antibodies against them.
“We went back and took samples from SARS patients in 2003 and 2004, and since this year we can detect antibodies,” Stanley Perlman, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Ottawa, also told NPR. ‘University of Iowa. “We think antibodies can last longer than we thought, but not in everyone.”
However, it would be difficult to say how people previously exposed to SARS would react if they were re-infected, because “the epidemic essentially ended within six or eight months of the first case, so we have no one who has been re-infected . that we know, “he noted, adding that about 8,000 people were globally infected at the time.
In addition, a study on the antibody response in survivors of the 2012 MERS epidemic found that patients had antibodies to the virus for about 18 months after their first infection.
Aside from the increased testing capabilities to find active COVID-19 infections in those who have symptoms – including fever, dry cough and shortness of breath – some university labs and medical companies are starting to produce blood tests for identify anti-coronavirus antibodies in those who have already been infected. And in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the state is starting a blood therapy trial to test the blood plasma of recovered patients. The trial is intended for patients with the most severe coronavirus.
“What he does, he takes the plasma from a person infected with the virus, processes the plasma and injects the antibodies into a sick person,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “There have been tests that show when a person receives an injection of antibodies, which then stimulates them for most of their immune system against the disease.”
COVID-19 may also never go away completely, becoming endemic like the common cold. In this scenario, the virus is likely to have less of an impact than it currently has because more people will be immune to it, an infectious disease expert told Fox News during a discussion on how to fight the pandemic. could end.
James Rogers of Fox News contributed to this report.