New studies offer hope that those infected with COVID-19 may have immunity after all. Researchers found that protective antibodies and immune cells were indeed present in people months after even mild infections cleared, refuting previous evidence by U.K. researchers that protection waned in 90 days.
“This is exactly what you would hope for,” said Dr. Marion Pepper, an immunologist from the University of Washington who was the author of one of the studies, according to Fox News. These encouraging signs may mean that disease-fighting antibodies and immune boosting T-cells may recognize the coronavirus and stave off future infections.
According to The New York Times, the data, which has not been peer-reviewed, indicates that the body’s cells are doing their job, although scientists don’t know how long these immune responses will last.
Pepper said that the findings can’t be confirmed until people actually come into contact with the virus a second time and are able to stay healthy. She added that we’ve seen some of this response already as the virus still spreads through our population without much evidence of reinfection.
She told the Times that immune memory “helps to explain that.”
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