Monkeys Develop COVID-19 Immunity After Being Infected, Per Studies

As questions continue to rise regarding to possibility of developing immunity to the novel coronavirus COVID-19, two studies have shown that a group of monkeys infected with the coronavirus were immune after recovering and being exposed to the virus a second time, according to ScienceMag.org.

One study carried out by Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) included nine monkeys, while a second study included 25 monkeys.

According to Reuters, Dr. Dan Barouch, a researcher at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston,  says that findings from the studies suggest the monkeys “do develop natural immunity that protects against re-exposure.”

Of course, while it is promising news, the ability for monkeys to potentially develop immunity for COVID-19 does not guarantee humans will react the same.

From the report:

All of the control animals showed high degrees of virus in their noses and lungs, but in the vaccinated animals, “we saw a substantial degree of protection,” Barouch said. Eight of the vaccinated animals were completely protected. These studies, which have been peer reviewed, do not prove that humans develop immunity or how long it might last, but they are reassuring.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 93,800 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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