The UK government’s science advisors have warned that reinfections with COVID-19 are “expected” as the virus spreads across the country, local media reported on Saturday.
The conclusion drawn by researchers at the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium is based on what is known about human immunity to other coronaviruses that cause colds. This came from a report in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday.
It was unclear when people who had recovered from COVID-19 could become susceptible to re-infection, but recent reports showed the timeframe was “relatively short,” the report said.
There are currently seven types of coronavirus that infect humans. Among them, Sars, Mers and Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are considered to be the deadliest. The other four cause colds and can re-infect people from the same virus six months after recovering, the report said.
Nearly two dozen cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 reinfections have occurred worldwide, but the real number is believed to be far higher as most reinfections are not tracked, the report said.
An additional 16,171 people in the UK have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 705,428, according to official figures released on Saturday.
Coronavirus-related deaths in the UK rose 150 to 43,579, the data showed.
The UK’s coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, has increased slightly, the latest government figures showed on Friday.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) said the R number is now between 1.3 and 1.5, up from last week which was between 1.2 and 1.5. If the R-number is above one, it means that the number of cases is increasing exponentially.
To get life back to normal, countries like the UK, China, Russia and the United States are battling against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.
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