Coronavirus: no evidence that individuals already infected will be immune, warns WHO

Coronavirus: pas de preuve que des personnes déjà infectées soient immunisées, prévient l’OMS

There is no evidence that people who test positive for the new coronavirus should be immunized and protected against reinfection, warned on Saturday WHO, taking the view that the issuance of “passports immune” is likely to contribute to the continued spread of the pandemic.

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from the COVID-19 and who have antibodies to be immune against a second infection,” said the world health Organization (WHO) in a press release.

“The date of April 24, 2020, no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers an immunity against a future infection by this virus in humans,” she says.

Some governments have floated the idea of issuing documents certifying the immunity of persons on the basis of serological tests revealing the presence of antibodies in the blood, so as to déconfiner and to enable their return to work and resumption of economic activity.

But the effectiveness of immunization with antibodies has not been established at this stage and the available scientific evidence does not justify the granting of a passport “immune” or a ” certificate of absence of risk “, warns the WHO.

“People who think they may be immune against a second infection because they have tested positive could ignore the recommendations of public health. The use of this kind of certificates could therefore increase the risk that the transmission continues, ” she insists.

The WHO also believes that the serological tests currently used are in need of an additional validation to determine their accuracy and their reliability “.

In particular, they should allow to distinguish between the immune response to the new coronavirus antibodies produced during an infection by another of the six human coronaviruses are known, four of which are widespread, causing colds mild. The other two are at the origin of the SEAS (respiratory Syndrome in the Middle East) and the SARS (severe acute respiratory Syndrome).

Gold, stresses the WHO, ” infected persons by one or the other of these viruses are capable of producing antibodies that interact with antibodies produced in response to the infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 “, and it is therefore imperative to be able to identify.

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