US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The World Health Organization warns : there is no evidence that recovery from COVID-19 protects a person from re-infection. Experts warned the government against issuing to the survivors some security certificates.
Doctors know that a person who has had a viral infection usually acquires immunity to it (at least temporary). In this regard, the governments of some countries expressed the following idea. COVID-19 survivors should be tested for antibodies to coronavirus. Those with these natural defenders in their blood can be allowed to contact people, travel, and generally live as if the pandemic has already ended for them.
WHO experts in response warned: this should not be done. And there are several serious reasons for this.
Immunity: whether it is, or not
First of all, to date, not a single (!) Scientific study has been published that would confirm that the presence of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the blood protects the patient from re-infection.
Yes, the presence of antibodies means that the body has fought and won. Yes, at the next meeting with the same pathogen, the immune system will be fully armed right away: it will not need to invent antibodies from scratch that are effective against an uninvited guest (by the way, the vaccination mechanism is based on this). But does this mean that a person will not become infected? Alas, in the case of SARS-CoV-2 there is no evidence for this yet. The first vaccine is only undergoing clinical trials.
Of course, it can be assumed that due to the presence of antibodies, the course of the disease will at least be easier. But, firstly, even a person who is easily or asymptomatically transmitting an infection remains its peddler who infects others . And secondly, allowing a repeated attack of the coronavirus on vital organs already affected by its invasion is definitely not a good idea.
True, some countries have approved ( with important reservations ) treatment for coronavirus with the plasma of the survivors containing antibodies. But the effectiveness of such therapy is still in question. Her approval does not prove the effectiveness of such protection, but rather that in a rapidly developing pandemic and the lack of effective medicines, doctors are ready to grab onto a straw.
Antibodies or la la la?
But that is not all. Even if it is proved that the antibodies in the body of those who have recovered from COVID-19 provide them with strong immunity, the concept of safety certificates, or immune passports, is still questionable.
First of all, it has already been shown that some recoveries have a low level of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, which means that they probably did not acquire immunity. That is, it is impossible to issue a pass to free life on the basis of the mere fact of recovery. The presence of antibodies will have to be checked by tests.
Moreover, such tests at the moment themselves are not well tested. In the course of their forthcoming mass application, it remains to be seen how often they give a false result.
The specificity of the tests also requires a separate study. Do they distinguish antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 from antibodies to six other known human coronaviruses? But four of them cause a banal seasonal cold and are more than widespread. What if everyone who has had SARS feels invulnerable to the new coronavirus?
In general, scientists are not yet ready to guarantee at least someone that he will no longer infect SARS-CoV-2 and will not infect others with it. So, there is simply no one to issue security certificates. At the moment, everyone is at risk, and the best way to protect yourself and other people, regrettably, is to comply with quarantine measures.
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