There has been much talk surrounding Covid-19 suggesting that if you have had the virus, you are safe from contracting it again. But is this actually true? Professor Tim Spector says, “While this is the case for some viruses, like chickenpox and measles, there are plenty of viruses we can catch more than once. This includes common colds – which can be caused by other types of coronavirus that can infect people multiple times – and the flu.”
Covid-19 is caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus, and after months of experience and studying of the virus, the number of people to be confirmed to have been reinfected is very small, with only around four or five cases across the whole of Europe.
Antibodies are blood proteins produced in response to and to counteract a specific antigen, such as bacteria, viruses or foreign substances in the blood. They tend to stay in the blood for some time, so if a person encounters a virus again, they can provide an immune response quickly, however they don’t stay forever.
According to Covid Symptom Study, a small UK study showed that Covid-19 antibodies can last for a few months, possibly explaining why there haven’t been many cases of reinfection yet. This study did find however, that in some people, antibody levels had started to go back to normal after just 60 days.
As well as antibodies, our bodies also produce T cells as part of our important immune response system. These T cells have a number of important jobs including destroying infected cells and controlling the production of antibodies by B cells. T cells ‘remember’ previous encounters with certain pathogens and quickly respond to any repeat infections
Amazingly, T cells can also respond to viruses that simply look similar to ones the body may have encountered before, even if you’ve never actually been infected with them. This may explain why a recent ‘bmj’ study showed that 20-50% of US residents have T cell responses to Covid-19 even if they have never contracted the virus, which may offer a degree of immunity.
Professor Tim Spector says, “The latest research into Covid-19 immunity suggests T cell responses might be much more important than we thought, and even people exposed to recent cold viruses might be given some protection”.
Test Assurance Group (TAG) have developed an end to end testing system that works in a least fuss, user friendly and GDPR compliant manner. TAG have developed a market leading test process and protocol that enables employers to make decisions in real time around their return to work/school process.
For more information about TAG and what we do, please contact us today;
call +44 (0)330 124 4371