The risk of reinfection is very low for those recovered from Covid-19: "85% protected"

The risk of reinfection is “very low” for people who have passed a symptomatic or asymptomatic form of Covid-19. This is indicated by the results of a study conducted on health professionals in the United Kingdom and aimed at verifying to what extent antibodies against Sars-Cov-2 protect against a second contagion. The analysis, published in the journal ERJ Open Research, involved a total of 2,063 people including doctors and dentists, nurses and stretcher-bearers working in healthcare facilities in eastern Scotland, who underwent serological tests between May and September 2020 and then monitored for new infections until December 2020.

The first antibody test indicated that 14.5% of healthcare workers had already been infected with the virus, although some (18.7%) were unaware of it because they were completely asymptomatic. “This is an infection rate three times higher than the percentage recorded in the local population“Indicate the scholars who found a higher number of cases among dentists (26%), health assistants (23%), porters (22%), doctors (21%) and administrative staff (21%) . Overall, the infection rate among people working in “dirty” areas was slightly higher than that found among those working in non-Covid areas (17.4% versus 13.5%), although most infections was recorded among staff who did not work directly with Covid-19 patients.

Of the 300 health care workers who tested positive on the serological test, only one contracted the infection again compared to 38 cases of contagion that occurred in a previously negative control group, indicating a 85% reduction in the risk of reinfection, therefore, a protection similar to that conferred by vaccines. “A lot of attention was paid to protective equipment for doctors and nurses during the pandemic, but we found that dentists, health aides and stretcher bearers were the most likely to test positive – said Professor James Chalmers, medical consultant at the University of Dundee at the head of the research team -. We continued to monitor staff for seven months and found that having a positive antibody test provided 85% protection against future infection. This is really good news for people who have already had Covid-19, as it means the chances of a second infection are very low”.

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