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Russian citizens who have been identified with antibodies have had COVID-19 since February
Grigory Efimov, head of the transplant immunology laboratory at the National Medical Research Center of Hematology, denied the myth that most people in Russia had been ill with coronavirus in December-January.
Photo: Marco Verch
Recall that in early May, Roszdravnadzor registered a test system for the determination of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, which was created by specialists from the National Medical Research Center of Hematology and together with the Institute of Molecular Biology.
“This analysis does not detect the virus itself, but the response of the immune system to it. The immune response does not appear immediately, but it persists for a very long time,”said Grigory Efimov on his Facebook page.
Currently, the test system is widely used in Russian hospitals, as well as in the network of medical laboratories "Invitro".
In an interview with MedPortal, Grigory Efimov said that the National Medical Research Center of Hematology is currently researching the results of antibody testing in Russia. All Russians who have been identified with antibodies have had coronavirus since February.
“It was in China that people were sick in December and January. Most likely, the virus got to us not earlier than February. That is, when the outbreak happened, then they started to get sick,”the expert noted.
According to Efimov, if a person has antibodies in their blood, it means that with a high probability he met with COVID-19 and his body has developed immunity to infection. Whether the antibodies will protect against infection for a long time or whether the acquired immunity will allow the disease to be tolerated in a mild form will become known over time.
“Now there is no reason to think that there is no immunity in the presence of antibodies. Studies on monkeys have shown that reinfection does not occur after a short period of time, and clinical cases of reinfection have not been described either. It is impossible to say how long the immunity will last, but there is information that people who had had SARS in 2003 acquired immunity, and immune memory cells were determined by testing for 11 years,”said Grigory Efimov.
He recommended getting tested to everyone who, since February, had had ARVI and did not do a coronavirus test, or who had close contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis. The analysis will be reliable from day 14, and preferably from day 28 after the onset of symptoms.
“Even if antibodies are found in you, this is not a reason to take off your mask and not be careful. But at least you will be able to feel calmer,”Efimov stressed.