With more research needed, doctors urge those who recover from COVID-19 to stay cautious

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People who survive COVID-19 and develop antibodies are not completely in the clear. Doctors are warning against that invincible mentality until they know more about the virus.

“Since we’re not sure how long or how protective they may be, that’s why we still want people to avoid coming into contact with COVID-19 again and being at risk for a repeat infection,” said Dr. Sarah Boyd, an infectious disease physician at St. Luke’s Health System.

According to Boyd, the CDC believes antibodies are protective for at least 90 days, likely much longer. Although re-infection is rare, Boyd said it does happen and sometimes comes back with a vengeance.

“Some of the patients that have been reported to have reinfection, some of them were actually sicker with their second illness,” Boyd said.

The coronavirus is still new and more research is still needed. It’s unclear how long antibodies last and how protective they are over time. 

Grace Watkins is studying to be a nurse. She’s seen college friends get COVID-19 and feel like it was a free-for-all after recovering because they had the antibodies. 

“People don’t really care because they think that they’re going to be fine in a college experience,” Watkins said.

She knows that’s not the right move right now. 

“It’s nothing that we can be for sure on right now,” Watkins said. “I think that everyone still needs to be careful and stay safe, no matter if you’ve had it or not.”

“If you want to party at some point,” Marissa Holt said, “do it after this is over because you won’t be able to if you’re dead.”

Holt works in retail and lives with her 87-year-old grandma. 

Antibodies or not, she would appreciate people continuing to take every precaution, until we learn more about this virus. 

“It’s the only way we’re going to get through it and don’t go out unless you absolutely have to,” Holt said. “Shop online this Christmas.”

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