People who
have experienced severe COVID-19 symptoms during infection or those who have
had long-lasting symptoms may have more antibodies to fight future infections,
according to a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases by
researchers from Rutgers University. The study indicates that people who have had
severe symptoms once may be able to fight of coronavirus infections if they

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research paper, titled ‘Determinants and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a
diverse population: 6-month evaluation of a prospective cohort study’, has been
published as part of the larger Rutgers Corona Cohort Study, which probed 548 healthcare
workers and 283 others from the beginning of the pandemic.

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What did
the researchers find?

at Rutgers University found the following:

93 out of the
total 831 participants, 11%, tested positive for COVID-19 in the first six
months from the beginning of the research

24 of those
93 were severely symptomatic and 14 were asymptomatic

of infected participants had symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and
loss of taste and smell, which lasted for at least a month

10% of
participants had symptoms for more than four months

The study
found that while most of the people infected with the coronavirus did develop
antibodies, antibody production varied on the basis of symptoms. Nearly 96% of
participants who suffered severe symptoms were found to have IgG antibodies,
significantly higher than compared to 89% among those with mild to moderate
symptoms and 79% among participants who remained asymptomatic.

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Emily S.
Barrett, co-lead author of the study, said, “It is normal for antibody levels
to decline over time. Nevertheless, IgG antibodies provide long-term protection
help the body fight reinfection.”

“We know
from other research that vaccination further enhances immune protection and
sometimes even helps ease long-term symptoms,” said Daniel B Horton, co-lead in
the research, according to a press release by Rutgers University.