I'm a Doctor and Here's How to Tell if You're Immune to COVID
The president has not been quarantined since Saturday October 10 and is back on the campaign trail. The return to public duties has been a concern for many in the healthcare sector as there has been no confirmation from the president of the lack of active Covid-19. According to the president, he is free and "immune" to Covid-19. However, immunity to Covid-19 is a complicated reality that may not be as clear-cut as desired. Read on and don't miss these safe signs you've already had with coronavirus to ensure your health and the health of others.
COVID immunity is waning
The pursuit of immunity, either through a restored infection or through a vaccine, is the goal of the health community in any pandemic. Research has shown that exposure to a virus after infection confers immunity. When enough of the population has been exposed to a virus and has recovered, the virus will have difficulty surviving and the pandemic will end. The rescued individuals produce antibodies to the virus that confer immunity on the rest of society, resulting in herd immunity.
Unfortunately, current research suggests that immunity to Covid-19 is waning. Even more worrying is the rate at which immunity is deteriorating. This is known from data from patients who donated plasma. Every time a patient who has recovered from Covid-19 donates plasma, their antibody levels are tested. Data suggests that some patients have very rapid decreases in their antibodies for only a very few weeks, while others have decreases over a few months.
This is just one aspect of the disease that makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly when Covid-19 was present in the US. Although anecdotally people reported Covid-19-like symptoms in December or January, most will not have antibodies right now, even if they actually had Covid-19.
RELATED: 11 Symptoms of COVID You Will Never Want To Get
The president is not completely wrong
However, the President is not entirely wrong with what he said. The fact that convalescent plasma has even found some effectiveness in treating Covid-19 suggests that there are antibodies in the recovered patient. The difficulty is the unknown duration that a patient might consider immune. At present there is no instrument for determining the rate of decline of antibodies that would make it impossible to predict the end of immunity.
The statement about immunity to Covid-19 is therefore complicated and can only be discussed in the context of knowing a patient's blood antibody levels. This is a test that is currently not helpful to public health officials as guidelines are in place to protect the majority of the population and are not based on the Covid-19 antibody test for an individual patient. For the healthiest way to weather this pandemic, don't miss these 35 places where you are most likely to catch COVID.
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