Antibodies persist eight months after mild infection

3 minute read

And Australia extends biosecurity emergency period by another three months.

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3 March

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 appear to persist for at least eight months even in individuals who experienced mild or asymptomatic illness.
A paper published in Emerging Infectious Diseases describes the results of serological testing of 51 people who experienced mild disease and seven who experienced asymptomatic infection, eight months after they were first diagnosed.
The commercial immunoassays detected antibodies in 53 of the 58 participants, and neutralising antibody activity in 31 of those.

The Australian government has extended the human biosecurity emergency period – which was first put in place on 17 March 2020 – for another three months to 17 June 2021, in response to the continued threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The declaration allows the government to continue implementing infection control measures at its international borders, which include requiring international visitors to undergo pre-departure testing and wear masks on flights, the ability to restrict cruise vessels from coming into Australia, and restrictions on Australians travelling overseas.

The number of new COVID-19 infections around the world jumped 7% this week compared to the previous week, marking a disappointing change from six consecutive weeks of declining infections, according to the latest WHO update.
The most significant increases in cases have happened in the Eastern Mediterranean region – for example, Italy reported a 32% increase in new infections – as well as South-East Asia, Europe and the Americas. India has reported a 21% increase in new infections, and Brazil has seen an 18% increase.
The WHO says that the increase may be the result of further spread of new variants with possibly increased transmissibility, as well as relaxing of public health measures and also community fatigue and reduced adherence to those measures.
Case in point: Texan governor Greg Abbott has announced an end to the mask mandate and full reopening of all businesses, despite the state recording an average of 5000 new cases a day over the past week.

After a two-and-a-half-month run of not a single new COVID-19 case, Canberrans would be justifiably dismayed to see the territory’s tally jump by two. But the cases are both in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, who have returned weak positive tests.
All other new cases reported around the country are in returned travellers in quarantine, with zero cases of community transmission.
Here are the latest confirmed COVID-19 infection numbers from around Australia to 9pm Tuesday:
National – 28,992 with 909 deaths
ACT – 120 (2)
NSW – 5186 (6)
NT – 105 (0)
QLD – 1335 (4)
SA – 617 (1)
TAS – 234 (0)
VIC – 20,481 (0)
WA – 913 (0)

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