How can a recovered patient be infected by coronavirus again?Top Stories

July 23, 2020 20:29
How can a recovered patient be infected by coronavirus again?

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According to some studies conducted and data collected it is found that immunity of recovered patient can fade away after a few months of being infected by the virus. The human immune system is much more complex than that to find out if it really happens in everyone or is it just a certain group of people.

The world is together fighting one single enemy which is so small that it can’t be seen with a naked eye, that’s right one small microorganism like looking virus has taken a toll on the world. The stress of the pandemic is much more than the actual pandemic. People are losing minds and panicking because of the rise in number of cases every single day; Especially in India where every single day we are seeing a new record high of coronavirus cases. United States, Brazil and India are the worst affected by this pandemic and this does not seem to end anytime soon. More than 15 million people are already affected around the world and more than 6 lakh people have been deceased because of the deadly virus.

There came a small ray of hope when the Oxford University’s vaccine showed promising results in its first 2 phases of clinical trials. After this came the question of immunity whether certain people are already immune to the virus that affects the respiratory function of the body.

Certain studies have shown that people with high immunity have antibodies present in them that secrete proteins which n turns fights the virus without us knowing. It is difficult to say or identify people who are immune to the virus for now, but the data shows that 15% Indians can be immune to the virus.

When the question of immunity rises we tend to directly distract ourselves to whether the immunity is there forever or it just lasts for a while. Studies are being conducted with different individuals around the world regarding the same and it has shown that immunity against the virus can fade away. Not in a couple of weeks, it takes months but it does. This is very difficult to say as the human immune system is very complex and is very difficult to study even by the experts.

One study of the immunity tests was conducted in London. The study was conducted in a university in London called the King’s College. This study saw 90 participants and was conducting for 3 months, from April to June. In this particular study the researchers found out that the antibodies in the infected person was developed after weeks of being infected and also that the antibodies disappear around 2 months later.

A similar study was done on a larger scale in Spain. Span also saw a similar kind of research and data with the immunity and antibodies that they disappear after a few months.

These studies looked at one part of the immune system and just one cell structure. But Human Immune system is much more complex than that. The Human Immune system has two categories of cells that can fight such a deadly virus. One is the B cells and the other is the T cells. So how can we explain this? Well it is very simple on takes care of the tools which can destroy the virus and the other can help use the tools and take care of the killing. B cells help in making antibodies that are the tools to destruct the viruses and T cells take care of the actual killing that means they use the antibodies to kill the virus in the body.

In the studies conducted on the immunity researchers only focused on the B cells that means they were only focused on the antibodies and not the T cells which kill the virus.

There have been studies where we have found that Covid-19 patients rely more on the T cells.

One study which focused more on the T cells is the, Strasbourg University Hospital in France’s study. In this study researchers found out that people who recovered from Covid-19 have strong responses of the T cells without any detectable antibodies.

Many researchers like Eric Topol who is a cardiologist and also the founder of the Scripps research facility believe that similar study for both the area of cells if considered can have optimistic and positive responses.

One more Virologist and researcher Shane Crotty has mentioned and stated that fading of antibodies is very unusual.

There is also a fact that antibody response after vaccine can decline but still works. Like for Small Pox vaccine where the antibody response declines by 75% after six months but the vaccine still works. A study of 2-3 months won’t do it for the Covid-19 vaccine; the researchers should need a study for at least 6 months to check the antibody responses in the body.

One more answer which the citizens around the world are keen to know is if there is a chance of a recovered Covid-19 Patient to get infected again?

The answer to this is a possibility given by a Biochemist at the California Institute of Technology. The biochemist Pamela Bjorkman has said that there is a possibility that previously infected and recovered patients of Covid-19 could utilize immunological memory responses to produce new antibodies in case they are exposed to the virus again. But that does not mean the people who are immune to coronavirus are immune to any other infection.

By Deepika Agarwal

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Coronavirus  Covid-19  vaccine  antibody  immunity