(HealthyResearch.com) – Much of the world has been fighting on a united front, yet our common enemy continues to destroy lives and fracture families. Our chances of having a normal future beyond COVID-19 anytime soon depends greatly on whether our bodies are capable of mounting long-term immunity against it. Reports have been scarce, but as the research trickles in, it seems increasingly clearer that there’s no such thing as a long-term immune response against this virus.
The pandemic has turned out to be much more complicated than experts had thought, and so has our bodies’ response to it. Yes, people can catch COVID-19 more than once, and that’s bad news. There is still hope for us, however, and the good news could seriously outweigh the bad.
COVID-19 and Long-Term Immunity
Researchers continue working hard to find and put together all the right puzzle pieces, but as of September 1, 2020, the WHO has yet to find any evidence against reinfection. Some of the most recent studies have shown antibody levels could drop off as quickly as 3 months after a person fights off the virus. A look at other coronaviruses shows similar results, with most immune responses disappearing within a year.
Reports have also come in describing people who’ve fallen ill, tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered — only to show signs of reinfection, with positive blood tests, weeks later. According to an ABC News report, scientists say that while reinfection is likely possible, it’s also extremely rare. In the United States, there has been one documented reinfection case to date. So, what about all of the other alleged reinfections? Some of these cases could be a result of incorrect test results, mistakes rather than actual evidence of additional infections. There’s also always a possibility some infections are reactivating before the body fully wipes them out, giving the appearance of reinfection.
Regardless of how many of these possibilities are accurate, the dark clouds they paint could still have a silver lining.
The Future of This Pandemic
Not all studies on reinfection have been as discouraging. An article just published in Nature discusses the role of B and T cells (which don’t show up in traditional diagnostic tests) in long-term immune responses. Researchers have discovered that our immune response is a much more complex puzzle than previously thought — and a negative blood test might not necessarily mean the antibodies aren’t there.
Other studies on coronaviruses have shown reinfection may generally be asymptomatic, and antibody tests indicate that these illnesses don’t usually last as long. There’s also evidence that immune responses to different coronaviruses — SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, included — might cross-react. This could mean having had a “common cold” coronavirus infection within the previous year may offer some protection against COVID-19 right now.
So yes, you probably can catch COVID-19 twice, but it’s also less likely to be severe if you catch it within the same year — if you even notice you’re sick at all. This could be why we’ve seen such high rates of asymptomatic infections across the board. It’s possible that, had the pandemic hit us just a few months later, after cold and flu season fully made the rounds instead of right in the midst of it, we may have seen far less devastation. If the trend continues, the numbers of asymptomatic patients could continue to rise, and some of us may see increased protection as time goes on.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
Copyright 2020, HealthyResearch.com