COVID-19 Reinfection Unlikely for at Least Six Months: Study
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People who’ve had COVID–19 are highly unlikely to contract it again for at least six months after their first infection, researchers at the University of Oxford said.

Researchers say the findings are “exciting” because they represent an important step in understanding how Covid-19 immunity may work.

Isolated cases of re-infection with COVID–19 had raised concerns that immunity might be short-lived and that recovered patients may swiftly fall sick again.

But the results of this study carried out in a cohort of UK healthcare workers – who are among those at highest risk of contracting COVID–19 – suggest cases of reinfection are likely to remain extremely rare.

The study, part of a major staff testing programme, covered a 30-week period between April and November 2020. Its results have not peer-reviewed by other scientists but were published before review on the MedRxiv website.

During the study, 89 of 11,052 staff without antibodies developed a new infection with symptoms, while none of the 1,246 staff with antibodies developed a symptomatic infection.

Staff with antibodies were also less likely to test positive for COVID–19 without symptoms, the researchers said, with 76 without antibodies testing positive, compared to only three with antibodies. Those three were all well and did not develop COVID–19 symptoms, they added.

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