THE GOOD NEWS: Immunity to the coronavirus might last years, maybe even decades, according to a new study — the most hopeful look yet at this issue. 1/x…
What this means: Most people have been infected (more than 90% or so) will be protected from reinfections for a very long time. And vaccines — which generally provide stronger, longer-lasting protection — may do even better. 2/x
What it also means: We probably will not need to vaccinate people every year as we had feared, giving us a fighting chance to contain this pandemic once vaccines are distributed. 3/x
The study is in a preprint but comes from excellent labs and was reviewed by other leaders. Also: it’s consistent with many other studies. For eg, survivors of SARS have functional T cells 17 years (and counting) after their infection, and this virus might be the same. 4/x
We had worried immunity might last only months because of reported reinfections with common cold coronaviruses but a) those seem uncommon and b) there are hints that may have more to do with genetic variation among those viruses — which isn’t relevant to the new virus. 5/x
The vast majority of people in the new study have robust levels of B cells (which can make antibodies as needed), as well as the types of T cells needed to fight the virus, and they show extremely slow rates of decline — consistent with many years of protection. 6/x
We don’t know exactly how long immunity will last because that depends on what levels of immune cells are needed. But monkey studies suggest a little bit of immunity seems to go a long way in the case of this virus. 7/x
Hope this brightens your week as it did mine

Feat. @profshanecrotty, @SetteLab, @VirusesImmunity, @deeptabhattacha, @JenGommerman Jeff Shaman & shoutout to @PepperMarion @Anto_Berto @trvrb whose work informed the piece…

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More from @apoorva_nyc

13 Nov
NEW: Have you been wondering if the CDC has, in recent weeks, seemed to reclaim some measure of its independence?

You weren't wrong.

The CDC has been sidelined and silenced almost since the beginning of the pandemic. But something changed in the fall: The big fight about the administration's meddling in the prestigious MMWR reports, the election, and the dangerously rising case numbers 2/x
“We couldn’t allow ourselves to be politicized at this moment in time,” one senior CDC scientist told me. “We weren’t going to spend time licking wounds and worrying about the past." 3/x
Read 5 tweets
10 Nov
BREAKING: A new type of test detects immune (T) cell response to the coronavirus, and may be a better indicator of prior infection with the virus than antibodies. 1/6…
As some studies recently suggested, antibody levels drop not long after the acute infection resolves. That doesn't mean immunity also wanes, but it does mean that antibody tests may not be the best indicator of exposure to the virus. 2/6…
It's been increasingly obvious meantime that T cells play an important role in Covid-19. But whither the T cell tests? We've heard about antibody tests since early in the pandemic because they are easy to make. Looking at T cells, OTOH, sounds like a nightmare. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
5 Nov
NEW: We know children rarely get sick from the coronavirus. A new study shows that they make a less diverse and weaker set of antibodies than adults do, suggesting that they clear the virus much faster. 1/10…
Why, you may ask, would weaker and narrower set of antibodies mean less severe infection? It seems counter-intuitive. But in fact, many studies have shown that the most severely infected people have much higher levels of antibodies. 2/10
In other words, a really strong immune response can be a sign that earlier immune defenses did not work, and can signal an immune system that is desperately trying to gain mastery over the virus — and sometimes failing. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
4 Nov
As of Oct 29, there were at least 835K children infected with the corionavirus (61K in that last week alone.)

That represents 11% of total infections, according to the @AmerAcadPeds
@AmerAcadPeds Latino children are 73% of infected children overall. Of the 1,100 kids with MISC, 41% of children are Latinx, 35% are Black. And this is probably undercounted.
@AmerAcadPeds OTOH, lots of stresses on children from the pandemic and from schools being closed.
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov
All right, here goes, with this latest round of papers and preprints. I don't vouch for the quality of any of them and certainly not the preprints, just noting some interesting and intriguing trends and findings.
1. First on the list is this preprint from many days ago that linked election rallies to an increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations, in one case by 15-fold…
2. This one's interesting. We know by now that fomites pose low risk of infection, but this suggests that monitoring surfaces can be a good indicator of level of community spread…
Read 11 tweets
3 Nov
How are you all holding up? Shall I tweet out a second set of papers? Or are you too stressed to pay attention?
1. This Lancet Global Health Paper is from a while ago, but really sobering. Estimates that 1.7 billion, or 22% of the world, has at least one underlying condition for Covid risk and 349 mil or 4% are at high risk and would be hospitalized if infected
2. Really interesting preprint that found that seroprevalence in the slums of Mumbai was a whopping 54% compared with 16% in non-slums. But without the deaths you'd expect with that kind of prevalence…
Read 10 tweets

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