After first infection, Covid-19 risk reduces for up to 10 months: Study

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  • The study involved 1429 staff members of care homes and 682 residents with a median age of 86.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Shivani Kumar | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

PUBLISHED ON JUN 04, 2021 02:54 PM IST

The risk of contracting the coronavirus disease after a previous infection will substantially reduce for up to 10 months, according to a new study published in the Lancet medical journal. The research, which published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity on Thursday, looked at rates of Covid-19 infections between October last year and February this year among over 2000 care home residents and staff in England.

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The study conducted by the researchers at the University College London found that care home residents, who were infected with the viral disease in the past, were approximately 85 per cent less likely to catch it again than those who had not been infected. While the staff with past infections were 60 per cent less likely to be infected again. The study involved 1429 staff members of care homes and 682 residents with a median age of 86.

Researchers conducted the antibody blood tests in June and July last year and the results showed that around a third were positive for the presence of Covid-19 antibodies. The research also covered the emergency of Alpha strain, a more contagious variant of Covid-19 which was first detected in the UK last year. The researchers said the antibodies provided a good level of protection against the Alpha variant.

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“It’s really good news that natural infection protects against reinfection in this time period. The risk of being infected twice appears to be very low,” news agency Reuters quoted the study’s lead researcher, Maria Krutikov of the UCL Institute of Health Informatics, saying. “The fact that prior COVID-19 infection gives a high level of protection to care home residents is also reassuring, given past concerns that these individuals might have less robust immune responses associated with increasing age,” Krutikov also said.

The study, meanwhile, excluded the impact of vaccination as the scientists are planning to look at its effectiveness in separate research.

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