People who have been infected with a coronavirus can become infected again with the same virus within a year.
Researchers at Amsterdam UMC have discovered that it often takes “alarmingly short” before people become infected a second time with the coronaviruses that were known before the outbreak of the current virus. They probably call it that for the ‘new’ coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 exactly the same applies.
The research focused on four known and harmless coronaviruses, which cause only a mild cold. The scientists analyzed the amount of antibodies against the viruses in question in 513 blood samples taken from humans at different points in time. For example, they discovered that a second infection with the same coronavirus regularly occurs after one year and sometimes even faster.
“Precisely because the viruses differ greatly and we find the same result for all viruses, we think this is a common property of all coronaviruses,” says researcher Arthur Edridge.
Still not immune
People who have contracted the coronavirus and have recovered from it should therefore not assume that they are immune from that moment. “So even though you had an infection with the new corona virus this spring, it remains important to adhere to the RIVM guidelines,” concludes lead researcher Lia van der Hoek. “You could just get infected again.”
Van der Hoek, Edrigde and their colleagues published the research results Monday in the scientific journal Nature Medicine.