Once you have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, your body develops antibodies as an immune response to fight the infection. Antibodies typically appear a few weeks after the infection regardless of whether it was mild, severe or even asymptomatic.
After you recover from a virus, your immune system retains a memory of it. That means that if you get infected again, proteins and immune cells in your body can recognize and kill the virus, protecting you from the disease and reducing its severity.
Long-term immune system components include:
- Antibodies, which recognize and then neutralize foreign substances like viruses.
- T cells, which help recognize and kill pathogens.
- B cells, which produce more antibodies when your body needs them
While these components have been found in people who recover from COVID-19, it’s unclear how long the immune response lasts.
How long does immunity last after you recover from COVID-19?
Research is still under way to help scientists understand how long immunity lasts and how much protection it provides against infection.
Most studies have suggested that after a person has recovered from COVID-19, the antibodies may last for several months (six months or even longer).
How do you get tested for COVID-19 antibodies?
Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 can be detected through a COVID-19 serology test. This is a simple procedure that involves collecting a blood sample and sending it to a lab for testing. Depending on the lab’s workload, results may be available the same day or within a few days.
The presence or absence of antibodies does not indicate with certainty whether you have a COVID-19 infection or not. Since COVID-19 antibodies may appear 2-3 weeks after infection, a serology test that is performed too early may not have accurate results.
Detection of the antibodies against the virus may help you determine whether you can donate your plasma (convalescent plasma) to other people with COVID-19 as part of their treatment.
Do you need to follow precautions even after you recover from COVID-19?
Because COVID-19 is a new disease, researchers are unclear how many times a person can be reinfected with the virus. Data from several countries suggests that although rare, reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 can occur.
That’s why it’s important to continue following public health guidelines such as physical distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. These measures aren’t just an empty show of solidarity. They are essential for your protection, since it is unclear how long immunity against COVID-19 lasts.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Do Recovered COVID-19 Patients Have Antibodies? Related Articles
Can Diarrhea Be an Initial Symptom of COVID-19?COVID-19 has become a common illness that affects many people. Learn the signs of COVID-19, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Prevention: Test Your Medical IQWhat's really the best way to prevent the spread of new coronavirus COVID-19? Should wear a mask or not? Take this quiz to find out!
Coronavirus: How COVID-19 Affects Your BodyBy now, everyone knows about COVID-19. But do you know how it can affect your body?
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Prevention TipsCOVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that spreads from person to person via infected respiratory droplets. The main symptoms of COVID-19 infection include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Occasionally, people infected with COVID-19 may experience diarrhea, a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, or aches and pains. Avoiding contact with infected people, social distancing, not touching your face, frequent hand washing, cleaning, and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces can help to reduce your risk of contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus.
COVID-19 Vaccine Myths and FactsThe FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to be safe and effective as established by data from large clinical trials.
Guide for COVID-19 Vaccine for Cancer PatientsThe authorities have jointly agreed that patients on active cancer treatment are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection and complications. Hence, there is a necessity to prioritize patients with cancer for the COVID-19 vaccine.
How Do the COVID-19 Coronavirus Tests Work?Tests used for detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) may use two methods to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of COVID-19 disease, a debilitating and potentially deadly viral pneumonia. Genomic or molecular detection confirms the presence of viral DNA. The immunoglobulin or serology tests can tell whether or not you have been exposed to coronavirus, but not whether you are currently infected. Both tests administered in tandem can give you your complete COVID-19 infection status.
How Do You Know if You Have a Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) or COVID-19 Coronavirus?Learn how the signs and symptoms of a sinus infection are different from those caused by COVID-19.
How Long Is COVID-19 Patient Contagious for?People infected with COVID-19 can still be contagious even when they stop feeling sick, so precautionary measures should continue for at least 2 weeks after symptoms disappear and until the COVID-19 test result is negative. Ideally, patients should be quarantined at home or an institution for 2 weeks after the symptoms completely disappear.
Lung Disease & Respiratory Health: Should I Get a COVID-19 Antibody Test?If you had COVID-19 symptoms but never got tested, or if you have long-term symptoms that just won't go away, you may want to get an antibody test. It can tell you if you've already had the virus. Here's what you need to know.
Lung and Respiratory: Signs That You May Have Had COVID-19Could you have already had COVID-19 and not know it? Learn some signs that might indicate just that.
How to Differentiate Between the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19, Allergies, Cold, and Flu?Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 will experience a mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without the need for intensive or special treatment. Serious illness is more likely in elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer.
Tests Available for COVID-19Getting tested for COVID-19 can identify you as a positive or negative patient of the disease. Remember no test is 100% accurate. Different methods of testing have been launched to trace COVID-19 infection.
What Drugs May Fight COVID-19? Drug Trials, Treatments, VaccinesWhat drugs could help fight coronavirus COVID-19? Clinical studies are ongoing for antiviral drugs like hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine remdesivir, lopinavir and favipiravir, as well as COVID-19 vaccines. Learn why anti-flu respiratory drugs and home remedies may prove useful to treat or prevent serious coronavirus infections.
What Is the COVID-19 Antibody Test For?The COVID-19 antibody test, also known as a serology test, is a blood test that looks for antibodies to determine whether you have had a recent or past infection of the virus that causes COVID-19.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV)Infection with COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV) causes respiratory problems in humans. Transmission of COVID-19 occurs mainly through contact with respiratory sections from an infected person, however, fecal contamination may also spread the virus. Symptoms start off flu-like and progress to coughing, fever, shortness of breath, shaking chills, headache, loss of sense of taste and/or smell, muscle pain, and sore throat. Treatment focuses on supportive care and symptom relief. COVID-19 vaccines are available.