Previous Covid-19 infection could reduce your risk of contracting the virus again by up to 85% in the next 10 months, study shows
- A new study found that contracting COVID-19 can have up to 85% risk of contracting the virus again
- Reinfection is still possible and researchers do not yet know what effects variants can have
- Many previously feared elderly patients with Covid were more at risk of contracting the virus again because of a weak immune system
People who have already fallen ill with COVID-19 are significantly less likely to contract the virus again within 10 months, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the University of College London (UCL) Institute of Health Informatics looked at infections in home care residents and staff from October 2020 to February 2021.
They used antibody tests to determine who had previously been infected with the virus and compared those who had previously been ill with those who never had the virus.
The results showed that residents who previously had Covid were 85 percent less likely to test positive for Covid again than their peers, and staff were 60 percent less likely.
A survey of nursing home patients and staff in England found that residents were 65 percent less likely to contract the virus if they had it before, while the younger staff were 85 percent less likely to contract the virus.
‘It’s really good news that natural infection protects against reinfection during this period. The risk of getting infected twice seems very low,” said lead author Dr Maria Krutikov, a PhD fellow at the Wellcome Trust in the UK.
“The fact that a previous COVID-19 infection has provided a high level of protection to nursing home residents is also reassuring, given past concerns that these individuals may have less strong immune responses associated with aging.”
“These findings are especially important because this vulnerable group has not been the subject of much research.”
The study included 683 residents, with a median age of 86, and 100 employees of home care homes in England.
Each study participant who received a vaccine was removed from the data 12 days after they received the last injection in their vaccine sequence.
“This was a unique opportunity to look at the protective effect of natural infection in this cohort prior to the introduction of vaccination,” said senior author Dr Laura Shallcross, a consultant in public health medicine at UCL.
‘An important next step is to investigate the duration of immunity after natural infection and vaccination and to assess whether this protective effect is maintained against current and emerging variants.’
The degree of protection that someone who has previously had Covid-19 may have against the virus in the future has been a concern for doctors, researchers and even politicians.
While some initially thought they would get the virus once, it would be safe for the future, but it has since been discovered that one person can contract it twice.
There have been many reports of people testing positive for the virus months in a row, implying that they were re-infected at some point.
The study finds that although they are safer than before, there is still a chance that someone could contract the virus months after they were already infected.
Virus variants also throw in a new nut, as researchers still don’t know whether antibodies from some variants of the virus will protect and individuals against other variants of the virus.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 33 million cases and nearly 600,000 Covid deaths have been recorded in the United States since the pandemic began in March 2020.
The number of cases has fallen sharply in recent weeks as more and more Americans are getting vaccinated against the virus.
According to official data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of American adults have received at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine.