Coronavirus: Reinfection within 6 months unlikely, study says

Study says coronavirus reinfection unlikely after 6 months

People infected with the coronavirus are not likely to be reinfected with it for at least six months, according to a study by the University of Oxford.

“This is really good news, because we can be confident that, at least in the short term, most people who get COVID-19 won’t get it again,” David Eyre, who co-led the study, told Reuters.

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There are isolated cases of reinfection, but the study, which surveyed thousands of British health care workers, indicates that re-infection in those who tested positive for antibodies is extremely rare.

“Being infected with COVID-19 does offer protection against reinfection for most people for at least six months,” Eyre said. “We found no new symptomatic infections in any of the participants who had tested positive for antibodies.”

The study was conducted over 30 weeks from April to November. Its findings had not been peer-reviewed before it was published on MedRxiv.

The study showed that 89 of 11,052 health care workers without antibodies developed a new infection with symptoms. The 1,246 workers with coronavirus antibodies did not show symptoms of infection.

“We will continue to follow this cohort of staff carefully to see how long protection lasts and whether previous infection affects the severity of infection if people do get infected again,” Eyre said.