Coronavirus: how long does immunity last?

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 23 June 2020 at 17h37 · Updated on 25 June 2020 at 16h05
How long does coronavirus immunity last? This is the question a study co-carried out by Chinese and American scientists released on medRxiv.org tried to answer to. Immunity is said to last between “not long” and “at least two months”.

Immunity against coronavirus, the elephant in the room of research that might get a first answer as for its length…. Searchers from the Wuhan, China and Galveston, Texas universities carried out together a study released on medRxiv.com giving a glimpse of the length of immunity to Covid-19. And the answer is far from being reassuring: “After SARS-CoV-2 infection, people are unlikely to produce long-lasting protective antibodies against this virus” the authors of the study say. Immunity is said to last between “not long” and “at least two months”.

The study is based on 23,000 healthcare providers who worked in Wuhan hospitals. Out of the 23,000 people, only 4% of them had antibodies in April 2020, and at least one fourth of them has been contaminated. The study also explains, with comparisons, that antibodies produced shortly after being infected by Sars-CoV-1 (SRAS) remain longer in the organism that those produced after being infected by Covid-19.

Searchers also said antibodies increase significantly by age for people infected by coronavirus: among the medical staff, only 2.8% of people under 30 years old have developed immunity, against 9.6% in people who are between 60 and 69 years old, and 10% for those over 70 years old. Numbers explained by the study: “as young or middle-aged people usually took more social responsibilities and had higher chances to get infected during lockdown of the city”.

Immunity that is yet to be detailed in other studies, especially in the wide one carried out in Germany and launched in April.

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