According to a study done by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, the symptoms presented by a person infected with Covid-19 could be an indication of their risk of reinfection. Research has indeed highlighted the link between the symptoms of Covid-19 and the immunity that one could gain after recovery.
The study in question consisted of analyzing blood samples from 113 patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus over a period of five weeks. These samples were then compared to blood samples from the same people, taken three months later. The results showed that people who presented with a severe form of Covid-19 developed “richer and longer lasting” antibodies.
However, in patients who are asymptomatic or have only had mild symptoms, the antibodies may be depleted more quickly.
Fever, the body's natural response to infection
To fight infection, the immune system develops antibodies. Currently, studies already done suggest that antibodies can last between three and six months.
One of the most common symptoms is fever in people with SARS-CoV-2. Usually, it may go down within four to five days of infection. However, the fever may last longer in more severe cases.
While a persistent fever can be worrisome, it could also mean that the body is working a lot harder by producing more antibodies, with fever being a natural reaction of the body to create a good immune response. This could explain the fact that the amount of antibody produced in mild cases of Covid-19 is quite low.
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Other symptoms to consider
Besides fever, there are other important symptoms of Covid-19 that could indicate longer lasting immunity to the coronavirus.
With viral infections, loss of appetite is quite common. It can be accompanied by loss of smell and taste, nausea, sore throat and chronic fatigue. According to doctors, a severe case of loss of appetite could be associated with a significant change in the body, the latter generating a high systemic inflammatory response to develop antibodies.
Severe forms of Covid-19 often present with diarrhea, a sign that the virus has reached the gastrointestinal system. An intestinal infection or vomiting may also accompany it. Although diarrhea can be quite worrying, it could also explain the body's natural response to the virus. Diarrhea can indeed stimulate immune cells located in the intestinal mucous membranes to strengthen the production of antibodies.
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Gastrointestinal complications causing abdominal pain can also occur with Covid-19. According to the study, patients who had this symptom during the infection developed more antibodies than others and their immunity would also be longer lasting.
For the moment, the results of the study have not yet been peer-reviewed, but they nevertheless represent an important avenue for better understanding the body's response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the authors indicated that more research is still needed.