Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | immunity

Can You Become Immune to the Coronavirus?

Can You Become Immune to the Coronavirus?
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 26 March 2020 03:32 PM

If you are infected and survive a brush with the novel coronavirus, will you develop immunity? 

That’s a question on the minds of many. But the answer isn't a simple one.

Experts say this scenario is likely, but because we have such little knowledge of how the virus works, the answer is a “qualified yes,” according to The New York Times.

The reason that building immunity against the virus is critical is threefold:

  • Those who are immune can leave their homes, return to work, and help shore up the economy while a vaccine is being developed.
  • Immunity in the community helps stop an epidemic so that the most vulnerable can be treated.
  • Immunity may result in an early treatment. “Antibodies gathered from the bodies of those who have recovered may be used to aid those struggling with the illness,” says the Times.

Macaques infected with the new coronavirus appear to have resisted further infection, says The Times, but researchers don’t know for how long the antibodies will keep the monkeys immune or if this even translates to humans.

The good news, according to microbiologist Dr. Florian Krammer of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is that even if the antibodies are short-lived, subsequent bouts will likely be milder.

“You probably would make a good immune response before you even become symptomatic again and  might really blunt the disease,” Krammer said.

Matt Frieman, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, tells NPR that although we don’t know very much about the current virus, there is hope for immunity.

“I think there’s a very likely scenario where the virus comes through this year, and everyone gets some level of immunity to it, and if it comes back, we will be protected from it — either completely, or if you do get reinfected later then you will have much less disease, ” he said.

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If you are infected, and survive the novel coronavirus, will you develop immunity? That's the question on many people's minds. Experts say this scenario is likely but because we have such little knowledge of how the new virus works, the answer is a "qualified yes,"...
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2020-32-26
Thursday, 26 March 2020 03:32 PM
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