Coronavirus gives five months' immunity - study

Getting COVID-19 likely gives you immunity for at least five months, a UK study said on Thursday (January 14).

But you might still be able tocarry and spread the virus to others.

Scientists at Public Health England studied tens of thousands of healthcare workers who'd been tested regularly since June.

Out of more than 6 and a half thousand people who tested positive, they found that 42 were possibly reinfected, and two probably reinfected.

That represents an 83% protection against reinfection.

But - a past positive test doesn't mean you can relax on social distancing and other COVID rules.

Those antibodies might give YOU so-called natural immunity for months, but you may still be able to carry the new coronavirus in your nose and throat, and unwittingly pass it on.

Experts also warned that the findings mean those who contracted the disease during the first wave of the pandemic, back in early 2020, could now be vulnerable to catching it again.

They plan to keep monitoring to see if some people develop immunity for longer than five months.

The study did not examine immune responses to the vaccines currently being rolled out, or their efficacy.