Young adults who previously contract Wuhan coronavirus are unprotected against reinfection – study
(Natural News) Young adults who previously contract the Wuhan coronavirus and subsequently recover are not protected against potential reinfection, according to a study. Findings suggest that the presence of antibodies after the initial infection is not enough to prevent later reinfections.
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai looked at data obtained from more than 3,000 healthy members of the U.S. Marine Corps. The service members aged 18 to 20 years old were observed during the study period of May 2020 until November 2020. The researchers found that about 10 percent of the service members who were previously infected with the Wuhan coronavirus contracted it again.
According to the April 15 study published in The Lancet, 19 of 189 Marines infected with COVID-19 caught the virus once more. This was compared with new infections found in 50 percent of participants – 1,079 out of 2,247 service members – who had not contracted the pathogen. Marines who tested positive a second time during the study period were isolated, with researchers conducting additional tests. Meanwhile, Marines who were newly infected with COVID-19 had their neutralizing antibody levels taken.
The study authors then looked at their findings to compare the antibody responses of re-infected and newly infected Marines. Through the findings, the authors also sought to understand why the re-infections occurred.
They discovered that in those who tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, re-infected Marines had lower antibody levels against the virus than the newly-infected Marines. In addition, re-infected service members had about 10 times less of the pathogen in their body compared with service members who were infected the first time.
The findings suggest that some re-infected people could transmit the virus, but the authors noted that this theory merits further scrutiny. The researchers also noted that while their study looked at young, fit and mostly male recruits – the risk of reinfection will also extend to young people regardless of gender.
Even vaccines would not be sufficient to protect young people against the Wuhan coronavirus
According to the researchers, the crowded living conditions on a military base and the close personal contact required for basic training played a role in the pathogen’s transmission among the Marines. Thus, they called for vaccination to boost immune responses, prevent reinfection and reduce transmission.
Professor and senior study author Dr. Stuart Sealfon warned young people that despite recovering from a prior infection, they can still contract the Wuhan coronavirus again. “Immunity is not guaranteed by past infection, and vaccinations that provide additional protection are still needed for those who have had COVID-19.” Sealfon and the other authors exhorted young people to get vaccinated whenever possible.