COVID immunity lasts for 5 months to a year, study finds

Srinagar: Multiple scientific studies are under the consideration of the Health Ministry that say that COVID immunity or antibodies last for 5 months to up to a year, according to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday.

“However, our suggestion is that even if a person has recovered from COVID-19 then also social distancing, wearing face masks and hand sanitising are key preventive measures to be followed,” Bhushan was quoted saying in a report by Economic Times.

Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR, said that the virus is so new and it is quite a tough to find that how long the immunity will remain in a body.

“Coronavirus is a new disease. It is only 7-8 months old disease, so we do not know how long the immunity will persist. There are several studies being done across the world and looking at how long the antibodies persist. One point to remember is that for the respiratory viruses, whether it is influenza or flu–if you look at it historically, the flu vaccination is given every year. Similarly, the influenza vaccination is given every year because the immunity does not last for up to a year. So that is the point about the immunity. For this (COVID virus) we are looking at it and several studies are ongoing not only in India but across the world.”

It may be noted that several Coronaviruses, according to the report, are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

However, some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

As per the Health Ministry, around one out of every 6 people who get COVID becomes seriously ill and developing difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.


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