Virus can hit recovered Covid patients once antibodies start depleting: ICMR

New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS): Patients who have recovered from Covid-19 can again get infected by the virus once the antibodies of the viral disease starts depleting, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Tuesday.

"According to the Centre for Disease Control (USA), you call it a reinfection (of Covid-19) if the person is reinfected after 90 days from turning negative to the Sars-CoV-2 after testing positive to it.

"However, there are multiple studies which suggest that the antibodies that develop after Covid-19 sustain for up to five months," said Balram Bhargava, Director-General of ICMR, while answering a query in the weekly press briefing of the Union Health Ministry.

"Since the disease is new, we do not have any further information about it. However, people can recontract the infection if antibodies start depleting from the body," he added.

Bhargava also stressed that one should not become complacent, and follow all precautionary measures such as wearing mask, staying cautious and not relying on antibodies to astray the re-contraction.

"Even after contracting the virus, one must not avoid using a mask," he cautioned.

Bhargava also informed that the ICMR is conducting an assessment on the subject of reinfection as commissioned by the Union Health Ministry, and its result will be out shortly.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had earlier informed that the ICMR had set up a committee of experts to study reported cases of reinfection among Covid-19 patients. However, he had termed some of the supposed cases of Covid reinfections that had been reported as "misclassified".

As per the ICMR, so far, three cases of reinfection have been reported in the country -- two from Mumbai and one from Ahmedabad. The apex body of medical research had also stated that the cut-off date for depletion of antibodies set by it for the assessment is 100 days from the infection.

"There are various cut-off days that are being referred to for reinfection. Though the public is going by up to 110 days, we are taking 100 days as the cut-off period because the antibodies last until then," Bhargava had said.



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Comment on this article

  • Sunil K, Mangalore

    Tue, Oct 20 2020

    Even a high school student knows this - why did the ICMR doctors have to do research and waste funds to tell us this ? The body has a lot of functions to perform -it not going to keep the antibodies of one particular infection in the bloodstream for long. However it remains in its memory and the body is capable of producing antibodies whenever the same infection strikes again - however proper diet and exercise is essential to keep the body fit.

    (Even a vaccine doesn't give total immunity - if you start taking vaccines you'll have to take shots frequently and forever as you are preventing your own body from taking necessary action; so vaccines must be taken by those above 70 or those people with multiple ailments or a very weak immune system)

    If the doctors didn't know this, then they need to re-read their high school biology books again.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

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