Is COVID-19 Immunity Real or a Hoax?

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COVID-19 Immunity
Image Credit: NIAID

After spending a major part of 2020 in the pandemic, researchers are still not sure where did this virus come from, how did it get into humans, how long would it last and more importantly, is COVID-19 immunity true or not?

Initially, this virus looked a lot like common flu which is generally treatable with basic medicines and home care. Just like flu, chickenpox, and other viral diseases, the body likes to keep a record of the virus, even after the virus ends. Based on this information on anti-bodies, the body remembers the virus and in case of the next attacks, it kills it before it starts damaging the body.

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But there is no information on how people who have got it once can get it for the second time? The COVID-19 immunity wasn’t really the part of the discussion a few months ago. But within a few months, many cases have been reported telling stories of people who have got this virus twice, after recovering the first time.

The blood tests of the recovered patients reveal the presence of antibodies in their bodies which is necessary to prevent another attack in the future. But if they have the record of the virus, how are these people contracting the virus again?

Recently a man from China has reportedly got the virus second time after four months. Another elderly woman from China was also tested positive again after eight months of recovery. A doctor from Italy is also experiencing the same. These are only a few cases and there are more people who have experienced this.

People with antibodies of the coronavirus definitely have them inside their body however there is no information if the amount of these antibodies remains constant or declines with time. It is possible for people to have the anti-bodies once and lose it later, although this is highly unlikely it seems like the only explanation on why people are getting the virus again.

If this is the case, it is hard to determine whether or not these people will be able to defend themselves in case of the second attack. A study from the researchers from the University of Melbourne reveals that all of the coronaviruses recovered patients have the anti-bodies. However, they had limited COVID-19 immunity which means their exposure could be a risky second time.

Viruses similar to this coronavirus tells that they only induce mild symptoms in humans. But the antibodies remain inside their bodies but reduce with time. that’s why there is no permanent protective immunity to this virus and they are likely to get infected again within six months.

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But the antibodies in the body shows only one type of immunity. The body contains white blood cells particularly T cells and B cells which help to fight against the virus. The study by Melbourne University tells that the B cells and T cells levels increased in the patients which typically means good immunity.

A small study on monkeys from China leads to the assumption that there was no second attack of the coronavirus in them. It made the researchers believed that it would be the same for humans too.

The uncertainty on coronavirus information is mainly because this virus is relatively new and there is no information available about it. It requires a more extensive study to find all these answers.

 

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