Those who have had COVID-19 acquire immunity to the virus for at least five months but may remain carriers of the disease, a study by Public Health England (PHE) suggests.
“Researchers in the study concluded that naturally acquired immunity from the disease is 83 percent more protective against reinfection compared to those who did not get sick. The immunity lasts for at least five months from the time of illness,” PHE said.
That means people who got sick during the first wave of coronavirus last spring are already at risk of getting sick again.
“PHE also warns that while antibody holders are somewhat protected from getting COVID-19 themselves, initial data from the next phase of the study suggest that some of these people retain large amounts of the virus and may continue to transmit it to others,” the report says.
“Therefore, it is vital that everyone continue to follow the rules and stay home, even if they have contracted COVID-19 – to avoid transmitting the virus to others,” the office stresses.
The study began in early June and examined 20,787 people. Antibodies to the coronavirus were found in 6,614 participants.