A study in the UK shows that the majority of people who have been infected with COVID-19 seem to be immune against reinfection for at least 5 months. The study also indicates that people who have naturally acquired immunity still can transmit the virus to others.
The study found that antibody protection after infection lasts for at least 5 months, on average, and scientists are currently studying whether protection may last for longer. Early evidence from the next stage of the study suggests that some of these individuals carry high levels of virus and could continue to transmit the virus to others.
Professor Susan Hopkins, Senior Medical Advisor at Public Health England and the SIREN study leader said:
We now know that most of those who have had the virus, and developed antibodies, are protected from reinfection, but this is not total and we do not yet know how long protection lasts. Crucially, we believe people may still be able to pass the virus on.
This means even if you believe you already had the disease and are protected, you can be reassured it is highly unlikely you will develop severe infections but there is still a risk that you could acquire an infection and transmit to others.