Scientists have found that around an 83% lower risk in contracting Covid-19 is linked with having already caught the disease before. This does not mean people are immune after recovering from Covid-19. Experts warn it is possible to contract the disease and continue to infect others. However, the study has been considered encouraging by scientists.
Prof Susan Hopkins from Public Health England said immunity from having Covid-19 is not 100% protective. “This means even if you believe you already had the disease and are protected, you can be reassured it is highly unlikely you will develop severe infections but there is still a risk that you could acquire an infection and transmit to others,” she continued.
The study consisted of samples from almost 21,000 healthcare workers in the UK. They were tested to regularly throughout June and November of 2020 to see if they currently had the virus, or had it previously. The study found that among the 6,614 with antibodies, there were only 44 potential new infections. Scientists say the same healthcare workers will continue to be monitored.
Dr Julian Tang, a virus expert at the University of Leicester, noted that these results should be reassuring for the healthcare workers around the world. “Having the vaccine after recovering from Covid-19 is not an issue… and will likely boost the natural immunity. So hopefully the results from this paper will reduce the anxiety of many healthcare-worker colleagues who have concerns about getting Covid-19 twice”
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