Antibodies after coronavirus infection do seem to confer immunity and earlier reports of re-infection are linked to weaknesses in testing, say researchers
South Korean scientists have concluded that reports of coronavirus survivors becoming reinfected are incorrect and linked to weaknesses in testing, in a rare ray of light in the pandemic crisis.
According to their findings, positive tests in 277 survivors were triggered by remnant, inactivated virus RNA in cells and those tested were neither infectious nor suffering from a relapse.
South Korea’s ‘Central Clinical Committee’ said that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that detects the virus’s genetic information had been unable to differentiate between active virus and this inactivated viral RNA, which can remain detectable for up to two months after recovery.
South Korea’s programme of testing, tracing and isolating according to World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations has enabled the country to eliminate domestic infections without even resorting to a lock-down, in an implicit rebuke of Boris Johnson’s decision to make the UK an ‘outlier’ by ignoring WHO advice.
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