Due to the antibodies produced during infection of COVID-19, survivors are able to develop stronger immunity to the virus, with remote chances of getting infected again, says a Virologist, Prof. Sunday Omilabu.
Omilabu, who disclosed this on Thursday, during an online interactive session with members of the Health Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HEWAN), said, to have survived COVID-19 means to have developed adequate body immunity.
“We have not heard of reinfection of a survivor or any implication of organ damage and I don’t think there is any long term consequences because once you survive COVID-19, you will be stronger.
“It is expected that you develop a stronger immunity. Most of those that have been discharged, got discharged after testing negative on two consecutive occasions and their saliva has become cleared of the virus particles. No instances of organ damage. Once you recover, all organs are repaired too.
“So, no cause for any alarm and no fear of reinfection but we still need more studies to arrive at a conclusion,” he said.
Speaking on COVID-19 patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, the Virologist said from experience, infected mothers have no virus in their breasts milk because the virus is a localised infection in the respiratory tract.
Omilabu said It takes a long time before the virus moves into the bloodstream, adding that the virus is localised, it is not a systemic viral infection.
“However, this requires further studies as COVID-19 is still a new virus. We need more studies to prove that the virus can get into the foetus. But we know that it is localised, it will take a long while before the virus can get into the foetus,” he added.
Omilabu however charged Nigerians to keep observing standard precautionary measures, including handwashing with soap and clean running water, use of hand sanitisers and maintaining social distance to guard against COVID-19.